Reuters: By next Sunday, when Saudi women are allowed to drive for the first time, Amira Abdulgader wants to be sitting at the wheel, the one in control, giving a ride to her mother beside her.
“Sitting behind the wheel (means) that you are the one controlling the trip,” said the architect, dressed in a black veil, who has just finished learning to drive.
Abdulgader is one of about 200 women at the state oil firm Aramco taking advantage of a company offer to teach female employees and their families at its driving academy in Dhahran to support the social revolution sweeping the kingdom.
“We need the car to do our daily activities. We are working, we are mothers, we have a lot of social networking, we need to go out – so we need transport,” she said. “It will change my life.”
“On June 24, I would like to go to my mother’s house and take her for a ride. This is my first plan actually, and I would like really to enjoy it with my mother. Just me and my mother, without anyone else.”
Last September, King Salman decreed an end to the world’s only ban on women drivers, maintained for decades by Saudi Arabia’s deeply conservative Muslim establishment.
But it is his son, 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is the face of the wider social revolution.