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Saudi...the Good, the Bad and the Stupid

Scribe drives as woman to test reaction...it wasn't good.
By Staff Published Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Saudi journalist thought of an innovative idea of how to test public reaction to seeing a woman drive a car in the Gulf Kingdom which still bars females from driving despite occasional acts of defiance by some women.

Saad Al Salim said he decided to disguise as a woman by wearing the traditional black gown and face veil and drive his car through the streets of the capital Riyadh. At the end of his three-day adventure, he found it a “bitter experience.”

The journalist from the Saudi Arabic language daily Shams said he prayed on the first day of his adventure that he would not be caught by the police or the feared members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

“I was not caught but it was a bitter experience from the beginning…as I started driving, my car came under attack by rocks and sharp objects,” he said.

“These attacks did not stop as I drove from one area to another…at the end, I decided to take the gown off and drive back to office.”

Salim said he was harassed again as he drove on the next day but that the reaction was less violent.

“Seconds after I drove into the famous Tahlia street, many young men gathered around my car and started to harass me…some of them uttered obscene words and this prompted me to take the gown off immediately, causing a shock to the passers-by and the male drivers, who then pulled away peacefully.”

On the third day, Salim drove his car disguised as a woman outside the city but a few minutes later, he noticed that many vehicles were tailing him.

“I pushed down the accelerator but they kept tailing me and it was becoming more challenging and exciting…it was clear that all of them were determined to catch up with my car and know who I am,” Salim said.

“In the end, I could not go on as the situation was becoming dangerous…so I took off my gown and waved for the drivers who suddenly stopped waving for me and put away their mobile phones which they were using to take a shot of me…after what happened on the third day, I decided to stop wearing a female gown and drive in the streets…I just wanted to test public reaction to seeing women drive a car and how the society will accept this…I think what happened during these three days sums up the situation clearly.”

If Aiesha could ride a camel, why can't women drive? Certainly driving a car is more...'modest'...than riding a camel?
Father cancels 8-year-old daughter's marriage

A Saudi father went to hospital with his eight-year-old daughter for medical tests on the girl ahead of her marriage but the management succeeded in persuading him to cancel the plan, a local newspaper reported on Thursday.

Receptionists and nurses at the hospital in the central town of Rass were shocked when the unnamed father requested marriage tests for his daughter, prompting them to inform the management, Kabar said.

“Members of the management talked to the man and tried to convince him that what he was doing is a serious social violation,” the paper said.

“In the end, the man was convinced. He assured the management that he would not let his daughter marry at this age and would allow her to continue her education.”
Everyday I see changes happening for the women of Saudi.

Saudi gets its first female forensic doctorBy STAFF Published Thursday, December 16, 2010

Saudi Arabia has recruited a female doctor in its main forensic medicine department in the capital Riyadh to become the first woman to work in this field in the Gulf kingdom, a local newspaper reported on Thursday.

“After decades of relying on males, the forensic department in Riyadh now has a female doctor for cases which will require examination by a woman,” Shams said, quoting Forensic Department Chief Dr Saad Al Ghamdi

He said the move followed persistent demands by the department to recruit female doctors for some cases and to cover a staff shortage in that section.

“We have repeatedly requested the appointment of Saudi or foreign doctors…we have now a Saudi doctor and we will get a Syrian doctor within days.”

Ghamdi said forensic specialization is rare among women even in western countries, adding that he hoped such a move would encourage Saudi women to enter this field to “bridge a wide gap in forensic medical staff.”
Now the question is, can she drive to work?
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