After the video we watched in class last week, I felt that I should share my story with you guys. From my experience as an international student from Saudi Arabia, I always think that I’m not only getting a degree here in the US, I’m also representing Saudi as a country and culture. Since I got here in 2011, I was fascinated by how whenever I say I’m from Saudi people always ask me to talk about Saudi and they admire that I left my country, family, and language to pursue my dreams. The funny thing they all have to ask is “Do women drive in Saudi”, and of course the answer is no women don’t drive in Saudi not yet (of course at that time, because 3 weeks ago women have be given the permission to drive). Their immediate question will be “Why”, So I have to explain by first making sure that it’s not about religion all women from other Muslim countries drive. It’s the culture, Saudi people really care about their mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives. They believe that they have to make sure that they are well taken care of. And of course, I have to tell them that if we don’t drive that does not mean we just stay home and don’t go out. We still have fun and go out we have shopping malls, cafes, and restaurants.
So that now women are allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, there is a lot to think about.
First, Before driving in Saudi Arabia I need to know all the rules and laws I have to follow, to make sure I’m not violating any of them. So, what kind of rules are putting in place for this now movement? As a Saudi woman who drives and learned how to drives here in the US, I did so by learning the rules here and what to do and not do according to the US laws.
Second, how we as citizens will adapt to this transition, and what is the public opinions are. What I hear from my close friends and family is that for now, they are waiting to see how this transition affect the way people look at it and how the government is handling that. Other people are actually taking action and start driving an hour after the announcement. And of course, there are some who are totally against the idea who thinks that it will affect the norms and values of our culture.
For me, even though I’m driving here I’m not going to drive in Saudi Arabia until I see that everything is in place. I’m really excited for this movement and looking forward to seeing how my country and people will go about this transition.