As a woman who lived in Saudi Arabia, here’s how I feel about them letting women drive for the first time


Mobility is powerful – feeling as though you have the ability to escort yourself, plan your own day and give yourself permission to leave the house without making a single phone call

Friday Morning Prayer call echoed around the city – Jeddah was always the most peaceful at this time. This was the calm before the storm. I stuffed my swimsuit and a pairs of jeans shorts into a small black duffel bag, zipped it up and sat on my bed. Helpless; the usual wait began.

I was rushing, late, stressed out and could not leave the house until my father got home from prayer. The driver was on vacation for the weekend, his wife was giving birth and so it would be impossible for him to be on call, as he usually was. At the time, around 8 years ago when I was in high school, there was no option to Uber anywhere, taking a local cab was unheard of for a woman, and there was absolutely no way would I risk riding in a car with one of my “male” friends.

My best friend’s sweet sixteen had already started, 20 minutes away at a Yacht Club at the coastal marina area of Obhur, near Jeddah City. The boat was leaving port at 2pm. It was now 12:45pm, and the mosque was five minutes from home. I was stranded. My mother came in to check up on me, reassuring me as always that I wouldn’t be late, that I’d catch what promised to be the party of the year.   …

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1 reply

  1. Woow, they are so excited indeed.. women do not need a guardian when they go outside of their house anymore, they can drive by themselves where they want to go.. this begining of reformation, futher women equality and justice between male and female.

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