Today is the day that women in Saudi Arabia decided to bring the Arab Spring to their country, car by car, amid threats of jail, beatings and worse. So--how is it going? As you might know, Saudi Arabia is the only nation in the world that does not allow women to drive. Blogger Mona Eltahawy suggested today that we call these women "the Saudi Suffragettes" and added, "For the first time in my life, I'm jealous of Saudi women!" Small wonder. The social media world has been lit with updates:
@rubzO: "Another woman driving in Riyad today. Oh its on like Vince Vaughn!"
And then, an update: "Ahh! videos are hailing down like crazy! I cannot catch my breath! LOVE IT!"
The protest had guidelines--among them, Islamic dress code, reaffirm patriotism, preferably have a male companion for protection. There were reports of Saudi men claiming they drove around, dressed as women, to confuse security forces. So far, there are no reports of arrests.
Manal al-Sharif, whose act of driving landed her in jail last month, had said she believed that "rain starts with a single drop." Other organizers warn that this is just one step in a long walk. But for right now, it is difficult not to catch some of the excitement of a movement that might actually work. Just moments ago, we saw this:
@azizayousef tweeted, "the number in Riyad reaching 50 I am driving all around I will post a video in 10 minutes." And then, she did: