Friday, June 08, 2007


No you can't go for a DRIVE!

Here in America, and lots of other places, we take things for granted. Being able to shop 24 hrs. a day, either in person or online. Voting for whoever we want. Speaking ill of the President and not vanishing. Sure we all know that there are people in this world who aren't as fortunate (but are happier, studies show), but when we're sitting in traffic, we just want to get home, not solve world hunger.

But what really made me grateful was reading about Saudi Arabia. Cynical Chris shared this story by Megan K. Stack about her experiences in Saudi Arabia, originally written for the LA Times and you have to be registered to see the story.

That inspired me to find a blog or two by Saudi women and try and get a sense of what it's like to live like that all the time.

Jo's blog "A Thought in the Kingdom of Lunacy" was by far the best I came across.

In Saudi Arabia women cannot vote, they can't drive, they are not allowed to walk the streets without a male escort (usually a family member or trusted person employed by the family), and must be covered from head to toe in a black ibayah. They are not allowed to leave the house without permission, again from a male.

But I thought about this today as my co-workers wife picked us up to take us to lunch and how virtually impossible that would've been in Saudi Arabia. Or if not impossible, much more difficult.

Many Saudis are critical of Jo and her blog because she speaks from her heart and speaks the truth. She doesn't know how Saudi can keep progressing economically and technologically but not progressing socially. It will be interesting how that all plays out.

Personally, I would like to see what it would be like to live in a strict theocracy like that. The religious police watching, making sure that no women are sitting with the men. No women are walking around unescorted. I'm sure if every American experienced that, we would be more appreciative of our daily freedoms, and maybe we would be a little more open-minded.

Another point Jo brings up is why Saudi is so misogynistic. She can't find in the Qur'an where it says that women aren't allowed to leave the house or drive. Yet another injustice carried out in the name of Allah and/or God.

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