Daring to Drive

Daring to Drive

A Saudi Woman's Awakening

Book - 2017
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This is a memoir about living, loving, dreaming, daring, and driving while female--in a country where it's dangerous to do all of the above. Manal al-Sharif grew up in Mecca the second daughter of a taxi driver, born the year strict fundamentalism took hold. In her adolescence, she was a religious radical, melting her brother's boy band CDs in the oven because music was haram: forbidden by Islamic law. But what a difference an education can make. By her twenties, she was a computer security engineer, one of a few women working in a desert compound built to resemble suburban America. That's when the Saudi kingdom's contradictions became too much to bear: she was labeled a slut for chatting with male colleagues, her school-age brother chaperoned her on a business trip, and while she kept a car in her garage, she was forbidden from driving on Saudi streets. Manal-al-Sharif has written a fiercely intimate memoir about the making of an accidental activist, a vivid story of a young Muslim woman who stood up to a kingdom of men--and won. Daring to Drive is a remarkable celebration of resilience in the face of tyranny, the extraordinary power of education and female solidarity, and the difficulties and joys of taking the driver's seat of your own destiny. -- Inside jacket flap.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2017
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781476793023
1476793026
Branch Call Number: 320.082095 SH232D 2017
Characteristics: x, 289 pages ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Al-sharif, Manal

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12th
Aug 23, 2017

This book is about more than the simple freedom to drive in Saudi Arabia. Its a biography on Manal's life and misogynistic social customs and extreme Wahhabi religious interpretation that treat women as personal property, similar to slavery. Insightful and a quick read.

K_ROK Aug 19, 2017

This book is essential reading for anyone, anywhere. It gives us a glimpse into what some of the plights Saudi women have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. There is a not so fine line of difference between the judicial and moral laws of that country and you will see examples in this bio. I applaud Manal Al-Sharif for her courage and all that she has accomplished thus far - but still has a ways to go. Like she said, "The rain starts with a single drop." Excellent read!

e
Eil_1
Jul 24, 2017

Words are unable to describe the lives of women in the Middle East, and in this case, Saudi Arabia. Although I have read many books about the plight of Muslim women, I was again horrified by Manal's story. Manal has led us through the unbelievable customs that rule the lives of women in this hugely-wealthy but barbaric and prehistoric society, ruled by men who have absolutely no respect for women. Daughters who are regularly beaten by their fathers or family for reasons beyond comprehension.

Manal has introduced the Western world to the oppressive and cruel dictates of the Muslim man. Yes, there are decent Muslim men; however, they are silent and cowardly in terms of protecting girls and women· Brainwashed and abused, the young women silently submit to this horrific tyranny! Meanwhile, the Imans' self-righteous rants based on the inferiority of women continue. My heart breaks for the girls and women who have been brain-washed into this way of life by parents and religious leaders.

Manal suffered days in prison for DRIVING A CAR! She is a true heroine who fought for the rights of Muslim women to do such a simple thing. Progress is very slow in these backward countries. It is amazing to see the propaganda on TV about Dubai, showing women as medical professionals. After reading this book, one can readily see the absurdity of their actual reality.

North American politicians cozy up to this horrific kingdom based on obtaining money from oil revenues. They show no concern for basic human rights towards women. Shame on them for enabling cruelty and a lack of justice in their oppressive rule.

t
taylorwoods
Jul 08, 2017

Do you ever read a dystopian novel and think "oh my gosh all these harsh things would never happen in our world!". That's how I felt reading this book.

Never in my life did I have a serious contemplation of how simple my life as a woman is in the Western World (especially the United States) in comparison to a woman born in Saudi Arabia. For example, today I woke up and left for work in my own car without a man, and clocked into my own job where I work beside men and women, and just last night I mingled with my boyfriend's family for dinner. Simple customs like this are so different and more complicated in Saudi Arabia. If I were living there I would never be able to leave the house without my male guardian to drive me, I could not work like I do among men, and it would also be out of custom to mingle so casually with men in general let alone have a sit down dinner with them.

We read books today like The Handmaid's Tale and think "we can never let this happen!". I struggle to say, it has already happened/is happening. Maybe not in the style of women being literal baby-making slaves on a mass scale, but the true reality of women being second-class citizens with no rights and zero ways to move forward in their life without men. Manal al-Sharif made a great point in the book- women's rights in Saudi Arabia are like running a race against men but your legs and arms are chopped off. In whatever way you need to do things, you must rely on a man or men. Everything from driving, signing a lease for an apartment, enrolling in university, EVERYTHING is set up to make women easy targets to fail. The customs and religious traditions are so engraved into the backbone of this nation that when she was pulled over for driving, the police could not give her a solid reason for her arrest- just that she broke "tradition" (there is actually no law saying women cannot drive!).

I commend Manal al-Sharif for her immense bravery and guts to stick up to a system that is so stacked against women. She left the book with a lighter note of hope for the future of women's rights in Saudi Arabia including a tweet by the current Prince saying the country needs to move forward with allowing women to drive. I highly recommend her Ted Talk.

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