TV host shows bruised, bloodied face

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Rania al-Baz has been hailed as a hero for letting newspaper photographers snap pictures of her face and for frankly discussing her case after she said a beating by her husband earlier this month left her unconscious.

Ms al-Baz said in a telephone interview that once she was back at work, she would begin a violence-against-women awareness campaign.

Ms al-Baz is well know throughout the kingdom for her chatty, magazine-style show, The Kingdom This Morning. Ms al-Baz’s television persona – warm smile wrapped in a stylish headscarf – made the photographs of her wrecked face after the April 10 beating all the more startling. Ms al-Baz received 13 facial fractures required 12 operations.

Ms al-Baz, in her 30s, said her husband of six years, singer Mohammed Bakr al-Fallatta, had beaten her before. But she said the April 10 attack was especially vicious and that she thought he wanted to kill her.

Although Islam prohibits violence against women, many believe spousal abuse is common in the predominantly Muslim country.