HEROES: SAUDI WOMAN DEFIES DRIVING BAN
DESPITE CONTINUING PROTESTS from campaigners around the world Saudi Arabia maintains a ban on women drivers. But the ban didn’t stop university student Ashwaq al-Shamri from jumping behind the wheel when the driver of her bus suffered a stroke.
“He told us that he felt dizzy and then suddenly stopped,” she says. “My colleagues tried to give him first aid and I drove to the nearest shop to get him cold water.” Ashwaq, who was taught to drive at a young age by her father to help with work on their farm, then drove the stricken driver to his house, so relatives could rush him to hospital in time for him to make a full recovery. “I am extremely proud of my daughter,” says Ashwaq’s father.
Meanwhile, the ‘women to drive’ campaign, run by Saudi women, is seeking to overturn the driving ban so women can drive without fear of arrest.