In mid-May of this year, 7 women in Saudi Arabia who were longtime activists against the female driving ban were arrested. They languish in jail to this day. Ironically or perhaps perversely, the ban they fight against was lifted in the Kingdom just one month afterwards.
Now, it’s been about 6 weeks since the lifting of the driving ban and I just saw this homemade MTV-style rap video with a young Saudi girl moderately vamping “thug-style” in Arabic. She’s clearly happy about her new driver status, as I’m sure are most women in Saudi Arabia to have this new privilege.
There’s a ways to go in a country where women have the legal status of minors for the entirety of their lifetimes. Still, driving is a victory worth celebrating and it’s nice to know that somewhere in the world, some people are becoming more free.
Meanwhile, free speech in the US and in Europe are eroding, with the EU’s new draconian Title 13 legislation, a total body-blow to the fundamentals of the Internet and the corporate censorship Blitz last week, when all but one major social media platform de-personed the loudest anti-establishment voice in America, to the glee of so-called Liberals, who a generation ago were the flag-bearers of Free Speech. What an incoherent trainwreck the latter have become, speaking as someone born and raised.
Today, I set aside my sadness about the psychological war being waged against Americans and feel happy for Saudi women like Leesa, as they embark on their road trips.
Lyrics to “We Are Driving” – نحن نسوق
You think I’m kidding?
That today is the 10th the date for lifting the ban on women driving
Which means no taxis anymore
Steering wheel in my hand
The pedal under my foot
I won’t ask anyone to drive me around
I’ll be serving me myself
Come ride with me
Fasten the seatbelt over the abayah
While driving, keep an eye on the road and the other on the mirror
R is for reverse and D is for driving
Beware of all the iron cars
Whether it’s Ford or a Toyota, your life won’t be happy, if you get in an accident
Come to me for a carpool, this will ruin the plan
If you need me to come then you’ll have to pay
The gas money! Don’t take it for granted, Lady
If you ride with me without paying the you’ll owe me
Don’t close the door hard. This was long time ago
Now if you do it I’ll tie you up with a seatbelt
Hey, Uber n Kareem – whazzup!