Monday, October 28, 2013

"No Woman No Drive" - Satire On Saudi Driving Prohibition Goes Viral in Morocco

Ibn Warraq reports from Casablanca that a musical satire on YouTube has tickled the funny bone of local Moroccans 

The video - No Woman No Drive - by Hisham Fageeh takes a Bob Marley song and with a change of lyrics makes it the perfect response to the Saudi prohibition on women driving. He also manages to get in a line mocking the Saudi Imam who has been ridiculed around the world for saying driving would effect women's ovaries!

Walking past cafes in Casa you can hear the song and the chuckles as people watch it on their phones or iPads. The Marley song has been a Moroccan favourite for years especially with the Gnawa. It seems that the new lyrics may catch on.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive. The ban is informal, rather than enshrined in law.

Activist and writer Tamador Alyami said clarification was needed from the authorities: “They are giving us confusing messages. There’s nothing clear about it, no clear law, no clear punishment, so the message is not clear and that’s why we’re fighting for it.”

The campaign has sparked a wider debate in Saudi society over how women are treated. Social activist and comedian Hisham Fageeh's ironic video, ‘No Woman, No Drive’ was posted ion YouTube on the day of the protest.

Fageeh’s unique twist on Bob Marley’s ‘No Woman, No Cry’ had been viewed more than 140,000 times within hours of being posted online.

While Morocco enjoys good diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia, there is a view amongst young Moroccans that Saudi society is repressive and behind the times - especially with its treatment of women. The campaign to allow women to drive in KSA is gaining ground and in the recent protest some 60 women drove in public. Sixteen of them are reported to have been fined around $80. This is a far cry from a few years ago when a woman was jailed for driving.

As part of the latest campaign, dozens of women have posted online videos of themselves driving in different Saudi cities. No-one has been arrested.

The activists behind the campaign believe the public mood is changing, with many more people - including an increasing number of men - publicly supporting the lifting of the ban.

Print Friendly and PDF


Hicham said...

We had a good laugh! Power to the women in KSA, they have suffered under out dated laws for too long.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful. Now I hope the Saudi men wake up to the modern age

Aicha said...

We drive, we are equal to men thanks to our King and government. In Morocco there are even women taxi drivers. I pray that Saudi soon understands that times have changed since old men could tell everyone what to do.