Friday, March 2, 2018

Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening

Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s AwakeningDaring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening, by Manal Al-Sharif

I loved this book. I listened to it on audio, narrated by Manal Al-Sharif herself.

Growing up in Mecca, Al-Sharif was pretty devout and religious for most of her life. But three things awakened her to the plight of women and spurred her to become a driving activist:

1. She is smart and wanted to make something of herself professionally, instead of being limited by her gender.

2. The Saudi ban on women driving completely paralyzes women and places them in unsafe situations.

3. She got divorced, making it even harder to make it in Saudi Arabia as an independent woman and single mom.

She became the face of the movement, risking her own life and livelihood to do the right thing. This included jail time.

Al-Sharif now lives in Dubai, but tragically she has been separated from her oldest son, Aboudi, who still lives there with her ex-husband and his family, who will not allow him to visit her in Dubai. Men get full custody of children in Saudi Arabia when couples divorce. Read this sad update in the New York Times: I Left My Son in a Kingdom of Men.

I loved this book. I learned so much about Saudi Arabia. I recommend you listen to it if you can.

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