Manal repents but more Saudi women defy ban

Several Saudi women continued to drive cars through the Gulf Kingdom this week in defiance of a long-standing ban on female driving despite a 10-day imprisonment of a prominent female driving activist.

Most of them went further by shooting a film of themselves while driving and placing it on YouTube as part of an ongoing Facebook female campaign starting on June 17 under the title “I will drive my own car.”

Saudi newspapers on Wednesday published pictures and films of some women defiantly driving in many parts of the oil-rich desert country but only one of them was caught by police and released minutes later because of her old age.

The woman, in her 70s, was seized in the southern town of Bisha but police let her go after she made a statement not to drive again.

“She clearly was not aware of the ongoing controversy about women’s driving…she was surprised when she was stopped by police as she told them she had been driving for years,” Sharq newspaper said.

Sharq carried a film for a woman driving through the streets of the capital in Riyadh, starting with a picture of activists Manal Al Sharif, who was jailed for 10 days before she was freed on Tuesday.

The following words appeared below her picture: ”Oh, dream of my heart…what is the harm if you are fulfilled…”

The film is entitled in Arabic :”Manal Al Sharif…a symbol of every Saudi girl.” A red flower topped the title.


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