Saudi Arabian women recently staged a protest for their civil rights by driving cars–a practice that violates traditional customs. Saudi comic Alaa Wardi takes it one step further with this satirical rendition of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry.”
The version is performed without musical instruments, because singing with instruments is also banned. A cappella, though, is a different story.
The Saudi women’s driving protest has been covered by many Western media outlets, but much less so in the Middle East. Al Jazeera is an exception; on October 25 they reported:
An estimated 100 women have already broken the ban in the run-up to the action sponsored by the Oct. 26 Women’s Driving Campaign, activists say. Some have uploaded videos of themselves driving cars in cities across the kingdom. More are expected to join Saturday, but alleged threats by government officials compelled many activists to say the date is “symbolic” and opt for a continuous campaign instead.
But Saudi women aren’t easily deterred.
“I’m scared, of course I am. It’s not easy. But it’s not the fear that’s going to stop me,” said Madeha al-Ajroush, a veteran Saudi women’s rights activist who told Al Jazeera she drove around Riyadh on Oct. 10 and plans to head out again this weekend.
The YouTube channel for videos of women driving during in Saudi Arabia is almost empty now. The videos have been pulled down, either by hackers or by the protestors themselves, fearing reprisals.
Top image: Saudi women drive in painting by R. Slavin, posted on the Facebook page Saudi Women to Drive