A GROUP of Saudi women received their driving licenses from
the Riyadh Road Authority in preparations to be behind the wheel on Saudi roads
on June 24, first day following Eid holidays from June 15 to June 23 in the
Dr. Tahani Al-Dismani said to Al-Arabiya that the day she
received the driving license was an exceptional day for her, adding that she
was overwhelmed with happiness to an extent she could not sleep since she began
the application process for the license through receiving it Monday.
Al-Dismani recalled memories about the time she learned
driving in the United States where she was studying and how she obtained the
driving license and used to drive to her university and to other states outside
the state she was residing in, facing all kind of road conditions like snow,
which according to her was one of the toughest road conditions a motorist could
The Saudi enthusiast said she does not expect any
difficulties or differences in driving between Saudi and other countries.
Regarding the driving learning center, Al-Dismani said that
these centers abroad are very geared toward the actual road reality while in
Saudi these centers are more virtual, and the real start on Saudi roads will be
on the long awaited day on June 24.
She said on that day she will be driving from her residence
to her work at a local Saudi university.
For her part and in an interview with Al-Arabiya.net, Salwa
Al-Rajhi said when she received her driving license, it puts an end to her
struggle with drivers, especially since the issue of commuting for Saudi
females was a major obstacle for family stability.
Al-Rajhi said: “I learned driving under the supervision of
my dad since a while in Saudi Arabia and as I had previous knowledge of
driving, when I applied for my driving license during my studies in Britain it
was for me an easy thing.”
She said a friend of hers during her university studies did
not encourage her to get the driving license especially since they will return
to Saudi Arabia in two years where at that time driving was not allowed for
women, but she insisted, saying to her friend: “Maybe one day we will be
allowed to drive, and now this is a reality.”
She added that she was the one who taught her driver in
Saudi Arabia how to drive and he still drives awkwardly and commit a lot of
violations, but now she can get rid of him forever.
Al-Rajhi said her first trip will be to take her parents for
a short drive somewhere.
For her part, Israa Al-Butti said that on the first day of
driving she will be on King Fahd Road heading to her work at Al-Faysaliah
She added that with this development she will do without a
driver now and forever, saying she will drive for herself and that her driver
used to commit many road violations.
Al-Butti said she learned driving while in Britain but never
before has she driven in Saudi Arabia, adding that road conditions in the
Kingdom are better than the roads in Britain.
Ahlam Al-Thanian who appears in the video while receiving
her driving license from Riyadh Road Authority considered this day as a major
step that has become a reality.
She said to Al-Arabiya that she learned driving at her
family estate in Riyadh. Then later on while she was in Canada she obtained a
driving license and on Tuesday she replaced it with a Saudi driving license.
She pointed out that on the first day of driving she will
head to work though it is very close to home, but soon she will drive to other
locations as well. — AN