Drama – Part Two: The Big Day

17 Jun

No, its not my wedding. Today is June 17th. The day Saudi women have decided will mark drawing the line. Naturally I’m not speaking for all saudi women. and personally I don’t see why one date should mark the breaking of a dam when a trickle that grows into a flood is so much more effective at avoiding the radar, but it seems attention is the aim of this campaign. Getting attention and support for a cause that has been neglected long enough.

I’m not in Saudi at the moment, (which explains the absence of my complaints), but nonetheless, I’m following news of home closely and no matter the method, I’m wholeheartedly supportive of whatever initiative my Saudi sisters choose.

And so the snowball continues…. It seems that twitter is the best source of info right now, and on the Big Day, people are tweeting about lack of police presence, support for the women that chose to go out today, and how this is an issue of rights. Some go as far as speculating as to the “female power” to affect the country’s stability. I resent those people’s speculations. Regardless of such an event’s impact on the country, we are talking about a human right here, why make it political in a country where making things political will only guarantee that you will be  denied your request? This is a social/ human rights matter, not a political one. That is what is giving those women the courage to stand up for what they believe in. So please, if any foreign correspondents are reading this, don’t turn this into a political matter and therefore become an active obstacle to this cause. That’s what caused Ms. Manal’s arrest in the first place. Just because you can write whatever you want doesn’t mean its not being read by the decision makers in Saudi and won’t influence them. Just a thought. Thank you.

Yet despite the massive emotional and verbal support on social networks, youtube, newspapers & TV, I wonder how many women are willing to stick their necks out, or men who’d let their wives stick their neck out today. We are a nation of much ado, but when the going gets tough … well, lets just say its a lot easier to type in ” I Support Saudi Women Driving!! Start Your Engines!” then actually go out and do it under the fear of arrest or harassment. I’m embarrassed to say even if I were in Saudi, I probably wouldn’t have gone out today. Not unless great number of women already went out and I knew it was relatively safe. And I’d only do a quick drive to the supermarket or my friend’s house, just to say I did it! Yeah I’m chicken like that. If most people are like me, that’s probably why we haven’t driven yet. Lets just hope that “yet” ends today.

What I CAN do is send my prayers that God protect each and every woman back home who practices her right to get behind the wheel from this day on. And inshallah gather the guts to join them when I go back.

 

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