“Saudi Arabia will never be the same again. The rain begins with a single drop,” Manal al-Sharif, who was arrested in 2011 after a driving protest, said in an online statement. “I wish I could translate my feelings right now. I feel like no one can understand it fully but us,” said Abeer Alarjani, 32, who plans to start driving lessons this weekend. “Now I’ll finally dare to dream for more.”
Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, has been widely criticised for being the only remaining country to forbid women to drive. Many younger Saudis regard Crown Prince Mohammed’s ascent as evidence that their generation is taking a central place in running a country whose patriarchal traditions have for decades made power the province of the old and blocked women’s progress.
The state-backed Council of Religious Scholars expressed support for the driving decree. Other rules have loosened recently, with the government sponsoring concerts deemed un-Islamic by the clergy, allowing women into a large sports stadium for the first time and permitting them to dance beside men in a central Riyadh street over the weekend.
Source Credit: Sunday Times
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