Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Madness of Finding a Driver!

This past month I got the pleasure of searching for a driver *insert sarcasm here*. When I arrived to Saudi Arabia, Sohail had arranged a wonderful driver to take me to and from work each day. He was great, until after 2 months-he quit. So, again, Sohail arranged a driver and after one week-I fired him! Each week, I have had a temporary driver, since. Why did I fire my driver, you ask? Because I arrived to work almost in tears because of how he drove. We were even in a minor car accident on his 3rd day! Now that the children are going back to school, we need a driver to pick them up from school, drop them off at after-school care, pick me up from work, then pick up the kids and take us back home. Amazing, right? *insert more sarcasm here* So, tomorrow our youngest starts school and this week our other 2 children will begin school. Wish us luck in finding a driver!

Why is finding a driver such a big deal? Well, if you don’t know, women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia-ever. Women must rely on their husband, father, brother, son, a taxi or a family driver to take them anywhere. I have accepted that these are the culture’s “rules.” However, after legally driving for more than twenty years, I feel a bit demeaned by not being able to drive. Granted, men crazily and unsafely drive here-so I would not really enjoy driving here. But, when it comes down do it-I am not able to drive to get groceries, take my kids to and from school, take them to after-school activities, etc…. So, not being able to drive completely limits what a woman is able to do here. It is frustrating to say the least. 

Many women here have tried to start a movement by posting various articles on their blogs and even in the newspaper. One woman did in fact “drive” but now she faces the horrors of not being able to get a job in Saudi Arabia. Her act of driving must have disgraced the family, unfortunately.

Once again, my fellow Americans, be glad for the rights that we have-in America!

Long ago, women did not have the same rights, nor did African Americans or foreigners. Luckily, human rights activists, religious leaders and government officials made equal rights the law. Although American is far from perfect-at least ethics and equal opportunities are enforced. It didn’t happen in a few years, but over the course of decades. I would hope that many other countries would follow. It could happen!

*update* I now have a driver. The problem is-he doesn't speak English! More adventures await!!!!!!!!!!

Another American living in Saudi Arabia wrote about the same women driving issues here:

1 comment:

  1. Very funny and interesting story Sohail. Thanks for sharing... If there is some other readers who would like to find driver job in Saudi Arabia, they should try the web site called CareerJet... regards