Every few metres someone a newlywed couple, a group canada goose of young girls with balloons stops Samar Almogren to cheer her on or flash her a thumbs up.
It’s official canada goose outlet midnight in Riyadh, and she’s making her way across the canada goose uk shop city she was born and raised in, finally in the driver’s seat of her own car.
Saudi Arabia’s notorious ban on women driving ended on Sunday. After drinking tea and counting down the minutes, at midnight, Samar a TV buy canada goose jacket cheap anchor and mother canada goose outlet reviews of three went upstairs to kiss her four year old son Canada Goose Jackets Salloum goodnight.
She canada goose outlet parka then put on a flowing white abaya, strode out of her front door, accompanied by her best friend, and walked towards a white GMC parked outside her house in the Narjiss canada goose outlet jackets neighbourhood in northern Riyadh.
Across the street, her neighbour had just arrived home with two bags of groceries. He paused, placed his shopping on the hood of his car, and watched her closely.
In her cateye glasses, wedge sandals and nose ring, she did not skip a beat. She smiled, climbed in, started the canada goose outlet shop ignition and pulled out of her parking spot.
It’s midnight in Riyadh, and Samar Almogren is making her way across the city she was born and raised in.
FAYEZ NURELDINE, AFP
“I have goosebumps,” she says canada goose jacket outlet as she turns onto the King Fahd highway, the main road in the Saudi capital.
She drives in silence for a few minutes, glancing up at the Canada Goose Coats On Sale moon, then adds: “I never in my life imagined I would be driving here. On this road. Driving.”
‘Ready’ to drive
The canada goose outlet question of whether Saudi Arabian society is “ready” for women to drive has been hotly debated in the kingdom.
In 2013, Sheikh Saleh al Luhaidan, a notable Saudi cleric, announced driving could damage a woman’s ovaries and push the pelvis up, thus leading to birth defects.
Resistance to the end of the driving ban still resonates across some segments of society, with songs titled “You will not drive” and “No woman no drive” popping up on social media in recent weeks.
But as she drives across Riyadh, men and women stopped Samar’s SUV to congratulate her and voice their support.
Resistance to the end of the driving ban still resonates across some segments of society
FAYEZ NURELDINE, AFP
A group of men in their 20s, waiting for canada goose uk canada goose outlet outlet nyc the police assessment of a minor accident, spot Samar driving by. They smile and cheer. The policeman, too, looks up and smiles.
A man in a suit, smoking on a sidewalk, applauds her loudly. canada goose outlet store uk A young couple walking hand in hand him in a t https://www.fabulalitera.de shirt and jeans, her in head to toe black abaya and niqab stop to flash her a thumbs up and a victory sign.
“I’m proud, proud, proud,” says one man driving by the scene. “It feels like a holiday”.
“This is the society they say is not ready for women to drive,” Samar says, visibly moved.
Samar, whose youngest son was born with canada goose outlet toronto factory Down’s syndrome, has already decided canada goose canada goose uk black friday outlet sale where she will drive the next day.
“My first trip, tomorrow, is to take Salloumi to my mother’s house,” she says. “And then to take my mother wherever she wants.”
‘It’s Canada Goose Parka politics’
For many, the end of Saudi Arabia’s driving ban for women is a welcome step, but far cheap canada goose from enough in a country that still has a guardianship system in 2018.
Under the system, women need the permission of their closest male relative husband, father, brother or even son for most facets of life, including travelling, enrolling in school and in certain cases receiving medical attention.
Samar says she is fully canada goose outlet online uk aware that her newfound freedom to drive was not the fruit of activists who have long fought Saudi Arabia’s repressive gender policies some of whom were arrested just this month.
Decades of campaigning by activists failed to achieve what one stroke of the king’s pen ended in a royal decree signed last year.