New campaign for right to drive in Saudi

Saudi Women Petition for Right to Drive:

DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia, Sept. 23 -- For the first time since a demonstration in 1990, a group of Saudi women is campaigning for the right to drive in this conservative kingdom, the only country in the world that prohibits female drivers.

After spreading the idea through text messages and e-mails, the group's leaders said they collected more than 1,100 signatures online and at shopping malls for a petition sent to King Abdullah on Sunday.

Wajeha al-Huwaider of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, co-founded a group urging that women be permitted to drive. The group sent King Abdullah a petition with more than 1,100 names.

"We don't expect an answer right away," said Wajeha al-Huwaider, 45, an education analyst who co-founded the group. "But we will not stop campaigning until we get the right to drive."
Really, I don't even see why the (mostly American) press bothered to cover tiny "democratic" improvements in Saudi political life when this retard-run country doesn't even allow women to drive. Every time I am reminded of that ban I shudder at the thought that this is the most influential Arab country. If they have a lot of support, these women should give each other driving lessons and prepare for a wave of civil disobedience.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.