Μια γυναίκα από ηη Σαουδική Αραβία που ηόλμηζε να οδηγήζει

Allow me to start this talk with a question to everyone. You know that all over the world,people fight for their freedom, fight for their rights. Some battle oppressive governments.Others battle oppressive societies. Which battle do you think is harder? Allow me to try to answer this question in the few coming minutes. Let me take you back two years ago in my life. It was the bedtime of my son, Aboody. He was five at the time. After finishing his bedtime rituals, he looked at me and he asked a question: "Mommy, are we bad people?" I was shocked. "Why do you say such things, Aboody?" Earlier that day, I noticed some bruises on his face when he came from school. He wouldn't tell me what happened. [But now] he was ready to tell. "Two boys hit me today in school. They told me, 'We saw your mom on Facebook. You and your mom should be put in jail.'" I've never been afraid to tell Aboody anything. I've been always a proud woman of my achievements. But those questioning eyes of my son were my moment of truth, when it all came together. You see, I'm a Saudi woman who had been put in jail for driving a car in a country where women are not supposed to drive cars. Just for giving me his car keys, my own brother was detained twice, and he was harassed to the point he had to quit his job as a geologist, leave the country with his wife and two-year-old son. My father had to sit in a Friday sermon listening to the imam condemning women drivers and calling them prostitutes amongst tons of worshippers, some of them our friends and family of my own father. I was faced with an organized defamation campaign in the local media combined with false rumors shared in family gatherings, in the streets and in schools. It all hit me. It came into focus that those kids did not mean to be rude to my son. They were just influenced by the adults around them. And it wasn't about me, and it wasn't a punishment for taking the wheel and driving a few miles. It was a punishment for daring to challenge the society's rules. But my story goes beyond this moment of truth of mine. Allow me to give you a briefingabout my story. It was May, 2011, and I was complaining to a work colleague about the harassments I had to face trying to find a ride back home, although I have a car and an international driver's license. As long as I've known, women in Saudi Arabia have been always complaining about the ban, but it's been 20 years since anyone tried to do anything about it, a whole generation ago. He broke the good/bad news in my face. "But there is no law banning you from driving." I looked it up, and he was right. There wasn't an actual law in Saudi Arabia. It was just a custom and traditions that are enshrined in rigid religious fatwas and imposed on women.That realization ignited the idea of June 17, where we encouraged women to take the wheeland go drive. It was a few weeks later, we started receiving all these "Man wolves will rape you if you go and drive." A courageous woman, her name is Najla Hariri, she's a Saudi woman in the city of Jeddah, she drove a car and she announced but she didn't record a video. We needed proof. So I drove. I posted a video on YouTube. And to my surprise, it got hundreds of thousands of views the first day. What happened next, of course? I started receiving threats to be killed, raped, just to stop this campaign. The Saudi authorities remained very quiet. That really creeped us out. I was in the campaign with other Saudi women and even men activists. We wanted to know how the authoritieswould respond on the actual day, June 17, when women go out and drive. So this time I asked my brother to come with me and drive by a police car. It went fast. We were arrested,signed a pledge not to drive again, released. Arrested again, he was sent to detention for one day, and I was sent to jail. I wasn't sure why I was sent there, because I didn't face any charges in the interrogation. But what I was sure of was my innocence. I didn't break a law, and I kept my abaya — it's a black cloak we wear in Saudi Arabia before we leave the house — and my fellow prisoners kept asking me to take it off, but I was so sure of

or women are not allowed to drive. I went online. I was released after nine days. even trial and flogging me in public. and it made headlines around the world. I opened my Twitter . Saudi cleric warns] (Laughter) And only then we realized it's so empowering to mock your oppressor. in Saudi Arabia. it was a totally different picture. "Manal al-Sharif withdraws from the campaign. We are minors until the day we die. thank you. This system is based on ultra-conservative traditions and customs that deal with women as if they are inferior and they need a guardian to protect them. What's worst. illegitimate children. that only leaves two countries: Saudi Arabia. At the same time.my innocence. "No." Ah. The streets were packed with police cars and religious police cars. and they even fight those who try to question these rules. Because I believe a society will not be free if the women of that society are not free. so they need to take permission from this guardian. June 17 comes.and the hero outside." I know.(Applause) Thank you. "Manal al-Sharif breaks down and confesses: 'Foreign forces incited me." Outside the jail.000 tweets were written in that hashtag. adultery. and because I love my country. But in my home country. and they looked at me as an inspiration. they hated that speech so much. None were arrested. I was like this. And it becomes worse when it's enshrined in religious fatwas based on wrong interpretation of the sharia law. We broke the taboo. (Laughter) I know. some attacking me badly. and when women themselves believe in their inferiority.'" (Laughter) And it goes on. (Applause) Thank you. Allow me to help you answer this question. It was about living two totally different perceptions of my personality. They even started a poll. I'm pretty sure when I was in jail.The first thing. whether verbal or written. I'm a proud Saudi woman. but some hundred brave Saudi women broke the ban and drove that day. everyone saw titles in the international mediasomething like this during these nine days I was in jail. I'm doing this. and the other society is the rest of the world. [BBC News: 'End of virginity' if women drive. when they become codified as laws in the system. and they even started a hashtag called #OsloTraitor on Twitter. I was surrounded by this love and the support of people around me. the whole country went into a frenzy. I was shocked. even drug abuse. It strips it away of its strongest weapon: fear. The way they called it: a betrayal to the Saudi country and the Saudi people. and I do love my country. (Applause) Thank you. So it's a totally different picture. I kept saying. "We are the last country in the worldwhere women don't drive. Ninety percent said yes. Some 10. it wasn't only about these attacks I had to face. So it's these two totally different perceptions of my personality. I was asked last year to give a speech at the Oslo Freedom Forum. He claims it's done based on a UNESCO study. There was this official study that was presented to the Shura Council -." So if you look at the map of the world. or the religious laws. prostitution in countries where women drive is higher than countries where women don't drive. #OsloHero.the percentage of rape. there was like a handful of tweets written. of course after I took a shower. For me. thank you. I flew back to my home country.while the opposite hashtag. but maybe few know why. I'm leaving today. But you learn lessons from these things that happen to you. a university professor.000 voters answered this poll: whether they considered me a traitor or not after that speech. And the study states. everyone knows that we can't drive. it's okay. More than 13. I got out of jail. and others supportive and even collecting signatures in a petition to be sent to the king to release me. (Applause) So I think by now. One of them is when I was in jail. We started a hashtag on Twitter mocking the study.the villain back in my home country. I learned to be always there. of my person -. Just to tell you. two stories happened in the last two years.it's the consultative council appointed by the king in Saudi Arabia — and it was done by a local professor. This is my favorite. So for me. all their lives. I was like. thank you. It was more like this: "Manal al-Sharif faces charges of disturbing public order and inciting women to drive. she's a traitor.

" So the question I started my talk with. like 20 percent. I just showed some examples. and I would never defend myself with words only. I would use actions. who do you think is more difficult to face.But all I know. (Applause) Thank you. (Applause) After being sent to jail or sentenced lashing. and there were. (Applause)The same time. oppressive governments or oppressive societies? I hope you find clues to answer that from my speech. "Only if women stop asking 'When?' and take action to make it now. Thank you. The Shura Council that's appointed by the king. by royal decree of King Abdullah. who is the head of the religious establishment in Saudi Arabia. And I don't know how I became one now. I'd say. There were people like that. I will say. (Applause) . 3. it's not recommended for women to drive.000 people who signed the petition to release me. really. how I became an activist. The Grand Mufti. we will only issue traffic violation for women drivers.very big support. or sent to a trial. the spokesperson of the traffic police said.500 citizens who believed in that and they signed that petition." So it's not only about the system. last year there were 30 women assigned to that Council. 20 percent of the Council. everyone. it's also about us women to drive our own life. and they are also facing a lot of hate because of speaking up and voicing their views. and I've been always very respectful to those people who are opining to me. So I have no clue. There are a lot of people also -. A friend once asked me.account and my Facebook page. in the future when someone asks me my story. I filed the first lawsuit against the general directorate of traffic police for not issuing me a driver's license. Saudi Arabia today is taking small steps toward enhancing women's rights. and celebrated everyone's freedom.they finally accepted it last February. (Applause) Thank you. forbidden. like. It's about women themselves. fought the ban. I would listen to what they say. and all I'm sure of. "So when do you think this women driving will happen?" I told her. that Council. it's not about only these small steps. she said. who are amazing. It used to be haram. finally. after rejecting our petition four times for women driving. So for me. he said. "I'm proud to be amongst those women who lifted the ban. by the previous Grand Mufti. We sent a petition to the Shura Councilin favor of lifting the ban on Saudi women. and trying. like those 3. who are believing in women's rights in Saudi Arabia. When they said I should withdraw from the campaign.