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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Moudhi riding on a donkey

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentID=2010040168079
This is a fun story! Saudi women are trying to stick up for them selves, keep praying for them! dolly p.

By Abdullah Nasser Al-Fouzan
MOUDHI, a noted Riyadh secondary school headmistress, is continuing in her five-year quest to persuade the relevant folk that women have as much right to drive a car as men, furnishing them with the evidence piece by piece, showing that the benefits outweigh the perils. The persistent failure of her previous efforts, however, led her to turn to more practical methods, and so it was that she recently got behind the wheel of a car and drove off into the streets of the capital.
When stopped by police Moudhi produced her international driving license, but the failure of officers to be persuaded by such a document led to a lengthy exchange during which Moudhi showed them that their reasoning was more fragile than a spider’s web. Unmoved, the police told her that she was required to have a driver to protect her and help her should she find herself in difficulties, such as her car breaking down.
“Okay...,” Moudhi said. “We’ll see...”
A few days later Moudhi got behind the wheel again, only this time, seated in the back of the car, was her foreign driver. When the police stopped her – along with the young men who had been pursuing her down the street – officers believed the man in the back to be her bodyguard, and so were taken aback along with the rest of the gathering crowd when Moudhi told them he was her driver, there to “protect her and help her if the car broke down.”
“Isn’t that what you told me I had to do when you stopped me last time?” Moudhi said as perplexed officers glanced at each other.
All the same, when she asked them to remove themselves from her path and let her be on her way, they refused to budge.
“Okay, what’s your reason this time?” Moudhi demanded to know. “I have my international driver’s license and a driver with me in the car. In fact, I’m a better driver than he is and I know the streets of the city better, and I speak Arabic and he can’t. So why do you want me to sit in the back and let him drive instead?”
“You’re not allowed to drive…” was their only response, and they ordered her to sit in the back. “Okay,” Moudhi obeyed. “Well, see…”
A few days later Moudhi took to the streets again. On a bicycle. As she made her way down the busy Olayya Street, prompting all sorts of commotion, she was inevitably spied by the police and a rather comedic pursuit ensued, able as she was to navigate between the traffic and slip down side streets at a moment’s notice. But in the end they caught up with her and told her to get off her bike. After having giving them a piece of her mind, Moudhi was finally obliged to abandon that means of transport as well. But, as is her wont, she immediately set about thinking of other ways.
And so it was that a few days ago Moudhi bought herself a donkey, and as evening descended she mounted the beast and headed down the side streets from her house towards Olayya Street, and by the time she hit the main road text messages had already gone around half the town informing everyone of the now famous Moudhi’s latest venture.
As per usual, young males crowded around whistling and the traffic piled up almost to a standstill, causing a right old hullabaloo. The police were duly informed.
As the police descended from their vehicles, Moudhi pulled over her donkey and drove it onto the pavement, where the following row ensued:
Police Officer: “Is everything alright, ma’am? You look like you’ve, might I say, lost your mind?”
Moudhi: “Why’s that?”
PO: “Well, what d’you think you’re doing?”
M: “Have I done something wrong?”
PO: “Wrong?! Just take a look at yourself!”
M: “C’mon, out of my way! You’ve no right to stop me!”
PO: “I’ve every right! Can’t you see what you’ve done?! Can’t you see the jams and fuss you’ve caused?!”
M: “How’s that my fault?! Go and ask the mob that’s been following me and whistling! I’m just using transport. You wouldn’t let me use a car, or a bike, and now you want to stop me riding a donkey?!”
PO: (Turning to his colleagues): “What’s the cause with this woman?! What are we going to do with her?”
M: “C’mon, out of my way! I’m going to ride a donkey every day, just like the female companions of the Prophet…or would you even deny them that right?!”
PO: “No, of course, not. But times have changed…”
M: “What’s changed?! Things are supposed to change for the better!”
PO: “That’s true, change for the better… and now the streets are designed for cars, not donkeys.”
M: “But you wouldn’t let me drive a car, or even ride a bike, why? I have the right to use transport, don’t I? Am’nt I a human being?! C’mon now, get out of my way, or is there some law you know of stopping me riding a donkey?”
PO: “No, there’s no law.”
M: “Do I need a donkey-riding license?”
PO: “No, no, you don’t need a license.”
M: “Okay, then. Out of my way!”
Quite a crowd had formed around Moudhi and the police as they argued, some of them siding with her, others suggesting the officers should dismount her by force and put an end to the farce, but at some point it would appear that news of the event reached the ears of the powers-that-be, for officers’ radios began to sound and the police suddenly withdrew from the location.
And as Moudhi found the path before her unobstructed, she said: “I’m going to get on my donkey every day, and demand the authorities provide donkey parking at the shops, as this is my right for as long as I’m not allowed to drive a car.”Moudhi drove her donkey off the pavement and back onto the road, amid the whistles of disapproval and applause of support, and turned down the side street towards her house, wondering what she would do the next day. – Al-Watan

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