DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – On June 24, when Saudi women are allowed to drive for the first time, Amira Abdulgader wants to be sitting at the wheel, the one in control, giving a ride to her mother beside her.
“Sitting behind the wheel (means) that you are the one controlling the trip,” said the architect, dressed in a black veil, who has just finished learning to drive. “I would like to control every single detail of my trip. I will be the one to decide when to go, what to do, and when I will come back.”
Abdulgader is one of about 200 women at the state oil firm Aramco taking advantage of a company offer to teach female employees and their families at its driving academy in Dhahran to support the social revolution sweeping the kingdom.
“We need the car to do our daily activities. We are working, we are mothers, we have a lot of social networking, we need to go out – so we need transport,” she said. “It will change my life.”