Manal Al-Sharif

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It is a symbol of freedom. Just something about being on the open road, there is soothing sensation of the engine. The feel of control. All teenagers have the similar dream of being able to get their license and having that feeling of independence. Here in America we are lucky to have the opportunity to get our license, especially the women in this country. In Saudi Arabia they are not so fortunate. Women’s rights are a very large issue in Saudi Arabia; there are a lot of things that women are banned from doing. They cannot leave their neighborhoods; they cannot play sports or even use public transportation. But Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that prohibits women from driving (Wikipedia). Commonly used excuses for not allowing women to drive are 1. it involves uncovering the face 2. it may lead women to go out of the house more often 3.it may lead women to have interaction with non-mahram males, for example at traffic accidents 4. it would be the first step in an erosion of traditional values, such as gender segregation. Although there is no law against it was declared “forbidden” (Wikipedia) Just recently the women from Saudi Arabia have started to take a stand. An inspirational woman once said, “The rain begins with a single drop.” (Brainyquotes). Her name is Manal al-Sharif. She started an underground civil-disobedience movement to encouraged women to drive with one simple action. In spring 2011 she tried something most women had been afraid to ever do, drive. In late May 2011, Al-Sharif drove her car in Khobar. The video was posted to YouTube and Facebook. In the video, al-Sharif stated, "This is a volunteer campaign to help the

girls of this country [learn to drive]. At least for times of emergency, God forbid. What if whoever is driving them gets a heart attack?" (Wikipedia). The religious police captured her on May 21. By May 25th the video already had 600,000 views. Although Manal al-Sharif was kept in jail, she had started a...
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