This song by Shakira inspired a friend of mine to do something really wild. Thursday night after a social obligation, she tucked her kids into bed and waited until they fell asleep. At about 1:30 am she put on one of her husband’s shmaghs (Saudi head-dresses), opened the garage door and drove out! And this is not some reckless teenager; she’s a working mother in her thirties. She told me that it was the most liberating feeling she had ever experienced. She has a valid driving license and has driven a lot abroad but somehow she says this was different.
As she was heading home at about 4 am, she made a right turn on a major street in Riyadh just as a BMW filled with young Saudi men was making a U-turn on the street she was turning into. She accidentally made eye-contact with a guy sitting in the back. Although she had most of her face masked in the shmagh, just from that one look he somehow knew she was a woman and the chase was on!
Suddenly a few motorcycles joined in and she found herself being pushed to the curb with the BMW in front and the motorcycles to her left. The guys in the BMW opened their doors and started to get out, apparently to walk towards her. She says at that moment she suddenly felt possessed. She put her car into park, pushed on the gas pedal a couple of times for effect and then turned the car onto the motorcycles. They cleared out and she sped away. She called her husband and told him the situation. He hurriedly got dressed and waited outside. He saw her coming with her trail of pursuers and she drove right through the garage door as he closed it after her. The BMW stopped at the house and her husband stood his ground and looked at them questioningly. The driver opened his window and said we were just surprised to see a Saudi woman driving. He told them to mind their own business and they drove off. The whole thing was literally like a scene out of a movie!
The adrenaline rush got her through her husband’s lecture and later he couldn’t help express admiration for the driving maneuvers he witnessed. He went as far as to tell her that if they were not Saudis, she should have been a racecar driver.
This post was written with my friend’s permission on the condition that she remains anonymous.
30 responses to “Saudi Shewolf”
WAW! What an adventure! I love the story, thank you and your friend for sharing.
I am glad she got back safely. Pity the blokes couldn’t just have let her in peace.
thanks for sharing 🙂 great story
I think next time she could try sunglasses so that the BMW driver will not notice the flinch in her eyes!
With all respect I believe that an action like that is extremely irresponsible and obnoxious… a 31 yr old mother sneaking out of the house after midnight just to drive in SAUDI is not the most exciting adventure that would prove anything, in fact she risked her life and others! I believe that a civilized action to approach the issue of woman driving in this country to stand up for woman’s rights through media either TV or Newspapers and/or educating the society of the importance of such a right.
On a personal note I have been living out of the kingdom for over 11 years and YES I have been driving since I was 15… I do admit I loved the joy of such a privilege and wish I can continue driving at least it would get me out of the mercy of male drivers who come from god knows what background! GO WOMAN SMART POWER! 😛
Thats just awesome! Mash’Allah!!!
This is a great story, and I’m sure the whole point of the exercise was not to prove anything to anyone but herself, and to have the sense of liberty, and safe rebellion that driving under such conditions entails. She handled the unexpected well, as did her husband, and I agree with the suggestion to mask her eyes safely (no makeup would be a start, and covering the eyebrows some how).
This reminds me of other ways women have given themselves a taste of freedom or rebelled in a minor , safe way against social norms. One that came to mind immediately was the episode in Queen Noor’s biography where she felt a need to get away from the stifling life in the palace–in fact she was severely stressed by it–and so drove herself to a friend’s house and stayed away for hours without checking in with anyone. It saved her sanity and her marriage.
In a much lesser vein, although I generally feel very comfortable in France, I have, when rather fed up with something, done wild things like eat cheese and bread at the end of the meal as if it were a sandwich (you have to know the French to understand how truly rebelliously barbaric this is), and gone to the grocery store in a track suit–wild!
Thanks for a great post!
Faith–I’m sorry, but I genuinely don’t understand your comment. You seem to wish to deny this woman a freedom you enjoy, and think it irresponsible when she is an excellent, licensed driver, who also took precautions and handled the unexpected well. I am sure I am missing something, in what you are trying to say. Please explain further, thanks.
she is lucky her marriage didn’t end because of this … to be honest, I was against her in the beginning. I know she’s not supposed to drive here in KSA but she is so crossing the line with her action. then, I thought, from 1.30 to 4.00 she was driving peacefully. all the problems started when the guys recognized it’s a women and started chasing her off.. anyhow, amazing story… and thanks for sharing. tell your friend that I admire her braveness 🙂
I also think that something like “illegitimus non carborundum” would be appropriate.
(but you take care, too!)
lol go civil disobedience 🙂
not exactly a high level of emotional maturity among the males there, eh?
Never forget to keep your false beard in the car!
saudi wolf awwwoooooo!!!
that’s really awesome! but next time your friend should be careful, you know these young saudis are like wolves also, they are looking for prey! i also admire the husband for being a liberal minded-person!
yay way to go…
but please tell your friend to be carefull. she wouldn’t help the cause, if something happens to her…
Hah! oh wow what a rush!
Every time we visit Saudi – one of us always has the need for speed, but we end up chickening out 😛
I remember my mother drove once in Saudi, but she really had no choice. My cousin was severely ill and no one was there to take him, plus they were in a village, so no 911 or an ambulance. She took him to a nearby hospital, checked him and the whole time she was wearing my dad’s clothes. It was hilarious, really 🙂
1- Despite the “..There’s a she wolf in your closet… open up and set her free… there’s a she wolf in your closet… let it out so it can breathe”, I find it strange to see a Saudi woman being inspired to drive by one of “Shakira’s” songs, especially the “She Wolf” song!!
2- It’s equally strange to know that this song has not been blocked by KACST!
3-Your friend was chased by young boys.. even though “she had most of her face masked in the shmagh”. What does that tell us? Can women put up with this everytime they go for a drive? I do feel sorry for women, and I do feel ashamed of some of my countrymen.
wooow…so brave this woman!! but she had luck and a very good husband who helps her 🙂
nothing else to say..as i don’t live in there – and never been there- it’s not my right to judge Saudis 🙂
(very nice page- i love it!! )
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Friggin awesome! 😀
Wow… very scary and immensely worrying.. Considering these men could have acted out in any way they wanted and possible attack and even rape..
This literally shows the deprived segregated suppresionary life everyone leads inside Saudi..
How sad… so very very sad and sick…I feel almost sick that this sort of issue is still an issue today in the 21st century..
It is very pleasing to see a good loving Husband who has supported his good wife.. However, I think it would have been a different situation if the lady had no took initiative and drove away at speed..
To think Saudi Men can harass women literally becuase they are a woman is so sad..
I like this story.
Howl at the moon
Bark at the Sun
In addition, I want to meet you and your friends.
You know it would be spectacularly fast & furious and disasterous in the most deviant way 🙂
I am sick of walking the streets. People have tried to run me and my friends over too many times. LMFAO.
I got a few songs I want to add to the place list including 50 cent “Baby by me Ft. Ne Yo”!
Saudiwoman, the truth is I am a lone wolf.
However, I don’t mind teaming up with other packs being that we are of similar species.
I will also share my adventurous night as a “shewolf” 😀
Happened few years ago, me and my girlfriend were just cruising around Riyadh in our lebanese friends Porsche..we were quite new here, so he was kind of taking us for some sightseeing around town.
Anyways, I really love driving cars (especially fast ones) so I asked him could I maybe drive for just a little bit?
It was maybe around 2 am. So he agrees, and I hopped into the drivers seat. But I didnt have a ghutra, I was wearing my abaya, and my long blonde hair was open!lol
So I drove around a quiet neighborhood, it was fun we were all laughing like crazy.Until..I notice a police car parked some distance from us and theres nowhere to turn before it..Uups!
So I just keep it cool, drive like nothings going on past the policec ar, and turn at the next street!wheeew!!! They didnt even notice.
Was great fun though, very liberating as you said your friend felt!
well this can turned out to be real Hollywood movie 🙂 i enjoyed reading. Brave women though, she could have been in problem if wouldn’t make it, Allah Blesses and saves it’s peoples…
What a bold woman! 😀 It’s unfortunate that she can’t even go out for a drive without being harassed by men.
But if she can pull off and chase like that, she probably has some pretty sweet skills behind the wheel, that could rival most men. Way to go 🙂
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