Saudi women rejoice at end of driving ban
September 27, 2017 | 5:43 PM
by Reuters
Saudi women speak on phones in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 27, 2017. Photo - Reuters

Riyadh: Saudi Arabian women awoke to news of a royal decree permitting them to drive starting next year - and some were already behind the wheel on Wednesday, even though licences will not be issued for nine months.

"Saudi Arabia will never be the same again. The rain begins with a single drop," Manal Al Sharif, who was arrested in 2011 after a driving protest, said in an online statement.

Online videos showed a handful of women driving cars overnight, after King Salman's decree was announced late on Tuesday.

"I wish I could translate my feelings right now. I feel like no one can understand it fully but us," said Abeer Alarjani, 32, who plans to start driving lessons this weekend.

"Now I'll finally dare to dream for more."

The Saudi ambassador to Washington said on Tuesday women would not need their guardians' permission to get a licence, nor to have a guardian in the car when driving.

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