Archive | September, 2017

Vroom! ڤروم!

27 Sep
Never never land

Never Never Land by Arwa AlNaemi 2014.

Today, I am happy to report, my blog has become Obsolete (or soon will be).

But that’s Okay, and this is why:

This evening, while watching Netflix with my parents in a flat in London, my brother video called us grinning from ear to ear; “Did you hear the news?!”. Clearly we had not.

I check my phone, and sure enough there was a rising number of whatsapp messages and other notifications building up. My phone was exploding with the news:

Today, on the 26th of September, 2017, King Salman has issued a royal decree that Saudi women will be issued drivers licences, just like the men!!!!!!!!!!!


The responses were overwhelmingly ecstatic! True, it won’t be official for another ten months, but the government entities involved were given orders to set a plan in motion. And their deadline was in ten months. That’s only one month more than carrying a baby! Who would have guessed?

Sure enough, like any major event in recent Saudi history, the memes and jokes started rolling in. So soon in fact, that one friend wondered how people managed to come up with them so quickly! Many were funny, some were sexist, some were plain dumb AND sexist, but hey, a little self deprecation never hurt anyone. Plus I believe it’s the Saudi people’s coping mechanism. My personal favorite was “Breaking: The Cow has done a pilgrimage on it’s horns” (our version of “when pigs fly”) (and yes, I do know that it’s bulls that have horns, but that’s how the saying is).

A little later, supportive and serious messages started going around stating that women are the backbone of society and deserve respect for their struggle. I appreciate the thought and hats off to the fighters. The struggle was and is real.

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The hashtags of #noWomanInMyHouseWillDrive in Arabic started trending, to which were replies that they can’t stop progress. Also, #kingSalmanSupportsWomen was trending even more.

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Some scary threatening messages went around, but I’m not sharing them because they deserve to die instead of being promoted and circulated. And some messages that indicate that there is some fear of what this means and a “what next” attitude. I responded to one of those with a simple thanks to Allah for this good news, and a prayer for many more. I pity those that live in suspicion and fear. I hope the realise that the empowerment of their fellow sisters is nothing to fear. And yes, the message I received was from a woman. I hope to see her driving her own car with pride one day Inshallah.

There are also some beautiful artworks by Saudi designers that definitely deserve circulation. I’m posting a few below.

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All in all, it is an historic day. And in all honestly, while I always knew it was a matter of time before we joined the rest of the world, I didn’t really think it would be in MY lifetime. I thought autonomous vehicles and self-driving cars would take over and that would be that. No one would be driving.

I’m happy to realize I was wrong.

And, congratulations! See you on the road in ten months my darlings, I’ll leave you with this thought till we meet again (or  not).