Mar 7, 2012

KSA- The Nation of Mirages....

When many people think of Saudi Arabia, what comes to mind is the lack of certain rights. Amongst the most vocal ones heard in most probably every country int he world is that in 2012, a person is not allowed to drive while woman. What does that mean? Simple, if you were born of the Female Sex, you will not be allowed to be behind the wheel. This i must admit has become one of the hardest things for me to accept and get used to while living here in Riyadh. Its been 8 years, and I still can't totally grasp the idea that simply because one was born as a female, she is NOT allowed to be behind the wheel. One may ask how can that happen? How in the world can a country in this day and age practice such blatant discrimination. When someone has that answer, please feel free to drop me a note. But I will warn you the following will not work on me...

  • I will not accept any religious arguments, as this has NOTHING to do with religion, 
  • I will not accept woman being incapable of being behind the wheel.
  • I will not accept the argument that some women who support the ban state that they feel more comfortable having a driver or a family member that chauffeurs her around, you can have that choice, let me make my own decision, and my own grown u choice to be behind the wheel or in the back seat. 
  • I also refuse to accept that statement that I as a women worry about such a trivial matter when there are wars going on in the world, my answer to that, give me your car keys, let me control your life, and we'll discuss trivial matters at that point in time.
  • Oh, and the oh so famous, the streets are not safe enough for woman. Well I have the answer for that one, let us replace all the men who can't drive with capable female drivers!
  • Oh, and I will ignore any arguments that a women is unpatriotic because she is not bowing down and accepting these rules. There is a difference between wanting a positive change for your country and being unpatriotic.

Yes, I am annoyed. And you want to know why? I will say it a million times over and over again, till this non law is officially swiped off the face of this earth. I want to control my life, I don't need to have a man from God knows where who has NEVER controlled a car hold the life of my children and I in their hands. I as a women, first drove a car at 15, and believe I have more rights to be behind the wheel then HALF the Men on the streets of this country. Not to mention the 12 year old boys who become chauffeurs for their mothers, simply because their adult mother is not 'Adult' enough to be trusted behind the wheel. It sickens me that I am 33 year old woman may be arrested for driving on any one of our busy Riyadh streets, when a 12 year old who obviously does not have a license would be completely ignored. I will admit I have had my bouts of rebellion, where I have taken my husbands car (without his knowledge) and simply driven around the block... such a small act felt a bit liberating!

As some of you may have heard, Saudi Arabia has now supposedly taken back their promise to allow female Olympians. Not sure why it is happening now? Was it a political stunt allowing them in the first place, for fear of being banned from the games completely? I don't get it. Funny thing is I don't even blame the government of Saudi Arabia for half these lame rules, I blame some of the misogynistic IDIOTS they rule! Some man who fears that he will become less of a man if he allows the females of the country to be treated like adults.

Yes, I know this is not a new post topic of mine, but I am growing more and more annoyed by this. I am getting more and more annoyed by how slow things are changing. Yes, the voting issue is a great one. But will I e a 60 year old before I am allowed to be behind the wheel of a car in this country? Will my daughter not be ale to become the best that she can be, because this country does a great job at holding females back?  Have they not seen how many Saudi women have left the country all together and have moved to neighboring Gulf states for the mere fact that they can actually live a normal life anywhere but the home they love? I know I have grown to love this country, and want to make it my final home, but things need to change. Serious REAL changes, not cosmetic ones, or ones that closely resemble a mirage...

Olympic outrage at Saudi ban on women athletes


  1. I hope that women will be able to drive really soon in Saudi! I think perhaps Saudi can benefit from the opinion of sheikh al-Albani ;)

    السائل: هل يجوز للمرأة أن تقود السيارة ؟

    الشيخ : إن كان يجوز لها أن تقود الحمارة يجوز لها أن تسوق السيارة

    السائل: شيخنا أليس فيه فرق أن تقود وأن تركب ؟

    الشيخ: وأيهما أستر ؟

    السائل: الحمارة

    الشيخ: الحمارة أستر!؛ الله يهديك

    1. I've read that before as well... I wish the people would listen :( Enshallah soon it will become a reality. Thanks for passing by Safiyah.

  2. I am for women driving, however let me ask in this way. Do you know what is a right and what is a privilege? A right is something that is given by Allah to people or an individual and no one is allowed to be denied that. A privilege is an opportunity that can be used, and taken away if abused. Put it in this perspective. Is driving a right or a privilege. Mind you this "right" actually privilege is revoked by state institutions everyday against people who abuse. So did Allah give women this "right"? I am not saying men were given this "right" and I know how men drive. However what I would like to see is the posters become a bit more accurate in what they should fighting for.

    Let me ask the question how many of the w2drive folk out there are fighting for women's justice in KSA in general? For example what are you all saying about the most destitute and most vulnerable in KSA society? I would recommend you look at my comment HERE:

    If that is too tedious, I would recommend these 3 links of mine.

    Let me know, again, are you fighting for a right or a privilege? That being the case, what have YOU all done fighting for what are legitimate rights? Or are your priorities MESSED UP?

    1. whats interesting is that you're saying she should stop fighting for the right to drive and start fighting for the abused/oppressed? Here's the thing about arab countries - and yes, i am going to slightly generalize here - if the family does not fear god, they'll treat their maid like crap. if the do fear god, they'll treat her nicely. I have seen both ends of the spectrum, thankfully everyone in my family who has a maid treats her with dignity and respect.

  3. Great post! I'm an expat from America and I find the no-driving rule frustrating and limiting as well. In the U.S., I am used to driving my family around during the day, while my husband works. I can live with the restriction at this point because my time here has a limit.
    I echo your concern about the safety as well. It scares me to sit in a taxi without a carseat, all because I'm not supposed to drive.
    Average Joe Builder, You make an interesting point about rights and privileges. However, you disregard the important element of discrimination here. Countries all over the world extend the privilege of driving to both sexes, provided they have passed certain requirements and have been sufficiently trained. Training and competence should be the real test, not gender.
    I am astonished at the lack of regard that this country has for lives and safety on the road--all in the name of preventing women from driving.From what I understand Muslims hold the family to be of prime importance. If that is true, why do you they allow children to be unrestrained in vehicles and why are young boys allowed to drive without training? And why aren't traffic rules more regularly enforced?
    Bottom line? I think the real issue of driving should be determined by training--not gender.


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