Wednesday, March 14, 2007

well all this talk of banning woman from travelling alone and then scrapping that ban reminded me of the drive from mecca to madina, our time at mecca was over we did the tawaf al wada3 (the good bye tawaf) and began our journey to madina.

you hear all sorts of stories of people travelling for over 20 hours so i was expecting a long and hard drive, the coach wasn't very comfortable, seriously whoever designed the coach we where on must have been a dwarf or a member of the Pygmies because no way is a full grown adult able to sit comfortably on those chairs.

one guy who was sat in front of me kept cursing the Saudi government through out the duration of the trip, and then he would stand up and say 'people say ameen, say ameen' loool.

anyway we got to the service after like an hours drive and every one came down to stretch their legs and eat something as well as pray duhur.

later when we had all boarded the coach, i ran to the front of the coach and noticed that the driver hadn't arrived yet so i sat in his seat and pretended to drive the coach, exageratingly turning the steering wheel and announcing to the rest of the passengers that 'i am your driver for the rest of the way, the first female driver in Saudi' to which some of the group started taking pictures of me as proof lol, actually i need to get those pictures.

so i was enjoying the moment, beeping the Horn and making driving noises with my mouth, my dad was behind me saying 'ridee bilak, rak ishufook, wee deeroolik mushkilah' translation - careful, they might see you and cause some problems' to which i replied' nah it's all good, it's fake driving, they cant arrest me for fake driving can they?

just as i said that the driver boards the coach and stands there looking at me and for a split second i though oh no i am so going to get into trouble, then he started to laugh, shake his head and saying 'la la, mish ma3oola, izay kida?' translation no no, not possible, how is this?, he was Egyptian, and he told me off in a jokey way, i guess he couldn't believe that i had the audacity to even dream of sitting in the driver seat.

see the whole issue of banning woman from driving in Saudi is something that we cant comprehend, its unbelievable in the eyes of many, especially the west, but what we don't realise is that the vast majority of Saudi woman don't actually have a problem with this, many are chauffeur driven every where and they prefer it that way, to live in that sort of luxury is preferred in their eyes, and lets face it who doesn't like being chauffeur driven every where in style, the only time that happens to us is when we hire a nice car for a special evening out (not had that experience myself)and the whole point of that is to feel special and to be driven somewhere in a nice car (i like the rolls Royce myself).

i remember one time i watched an interview with a Saudi woman where she was being asked what she felt about the ban on driving and she simply replied, i don't really care as i have no need to drive.

as shocking as that may sound to us, its simple fact to them, the ban was placed in 1990 and i totally disagree with it, to me it makes more sense that a woman drives herself where ever she wants rather than having a total stranger driver her to places, whats better herself or non mahrem? see that where the contradiction is.

what really gets to me is when you hear comments such as 'strict sharia law bans females drivers' ummmmm exactly where in Islam does is say this? people should do there research before coming out with such comments and for Muslims to claim that islamiclly woman should not drive is ridiculous on their part and to make something haram when it isn't is a serious matter.

the ban is not based on religion but more social/cultural acceptance.

it was a discussion i got myself into recently, interestingly enough some woman have requested the ban to be lifted, but there request was refused by the court.

at least ladies can enter the mosque in Saudi, i wonder if they can wear roller skates?

on the way to madina, we saw a herd of baboons, how random is that!!! wild baboons with there red bums, so unexpected to see.


Brave Heart said...

well WA: u brought many points.
i have saudi friends and they told me, they'er against this ban and they wish to removed but they can't, i read last 2 weeks that king abdulla promise to removed in 2009.
about girls, i think the majority like to drive by themselves not by drivers, u can check this blog for saudi blogger
and u touch the point it's culture and social issue and not islamic shrira.
4 me after 12 years driving i'd like to have not one chauffeur,i hope 2, 3 ,4 as much as they can serve me vrey.

AngloLibyan said...

I wish I could be chauffeur driven everyday :o(

I totally agree with you on the subject of banning women from driving in Saudi, it just does not make sense.

there might be many blogs with Haj diaries that have your picture driving (pretending) that coach :o)

white african said...

brave i will check out the blog link you put up.

it makes sense to drive yourself than have some one drive you althouigh i think drivers who have been driving for a long time prefer being driven :).

me personnaly, i dont drive i dont have the rukhsah, i know how to drive i just havent done the test yet, my only excuse is lack of time and sheer laziness on my half.

anglo my god how funny would that be if my picture was on another diary lol.

Lebeeya said...

Here in the Gulf, if you have a driver thats drives you around everywhere (especially in a nice car), you are looked at as 'high class'. So there you have it :)

I have been driving for 5 years now, I got my rukhsah when I was 17 years old and I still enjoy driving very much. I once participated in a car race but didnt win lol, damn those sport cars! I love speed. I know thats bad and I also know if I ever die soon it will probably be because of a car accident.

I didnt know baboons had red butts. Why's that? Who painted their butts? :P

white african said...

leebeyah having a driver is one luxery not afforded for every one.

if i had a driver, i would gaurentee that he would commit suicide cause i would drive him crazy with taking me place, picking me up as well as being a driver for my frineds :)

ba3ad 3umar taweel inshallah, speeding leebeya tut tut, although i would be the same, especialy if my car engine is powerful.

baboons have red bottoms, well certain species anyway, why, to attarct the other gender maybe or to scare predators or maybe to entertain me lol

amena said...

I saw a sign with a monkey picture on it!! now it all makes sense!!!! it was a sign warning about baboons!!!!!!!!!! :oD amazing!


I wonder if they can wear rollerblades too

Baboons with red bums in Saudi...they have baboons?
The red bums are to attract a mating partner.

The ban should be lifted so that the women can make up their mind about whether they want to be chauffer driven or not

Lebeeya.....take it easy on the accelarator gurl!

white african said...

lol amena, glad that the mystery has been solved for you :)

it really was amazing and so random.

native i new it had to do with something about mating, only explanation really.

the choice, thats what it's all about. you hit the nail right on the head native

Safia speaks said...

Agreed, that ban is totally silly. A female has to sit in a closed compartment with a strange male (i.e. inside a car) but she is not allowed to even drive a car while alone or sitting with her husband!

The guy in your bus cursing the Saudi gov - please send him all my regards!!! Ameen.

Btw. sittna Aisha - may Allah be content with her - did ride her camel alone. And many of the female sahabas rode horses. So why can´t a woman drive a car, a bike or even sit on a donkey in Saudia?
Strict sharia laws?
Ha! Sometimes I think Saudia society resebmles jahiliya much more; they way they treat women.

NM said...

Just thinking about irritates me, its ridiculous to treat woman as if they incapable doing the most basic things for themselves!!!

white african said...

thank you so much safia for highlighting the fact about aisha ra, it frustrating how something so rational and good can be made out to be irrational and bad by the decisions of certain individuals.

nm, im hearing you sis, loud and clear, lets fight this battle lol

DizzyButterfly said...

I love the little comment about the baboons at the end.
so ,not anything to do with anything but so u!1 made me laugh anyways xxxxxxxxxxxx

white african said...

hey dizzy welcome sis to the land of the blog, glad to have you on board.