June 16, 2004


Three Saudi women have taken the first step towards receiving their driving licences:

Three Saudi sisters have recently undergone sex change operations and two more sisters are awaiting similar surgery in the Saudi city of Jeddah, Okaz newspaper said today.

Liberation at last.

UPDATE. Trudy Harris in The Australian:

While driving to work last week, Maha Abdo broke one of the golden rules for Muslim women.

Yes: driving to work. In Saudi Arabia, at any rate. Harrisís piece is pegged to the release of a Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) report into the views and experiences of Australian Arabs and Muslims, which outlines this nationís usual wicked intolerance. Unhelpfully, the report is titled "Isma", Arabic for "listen", which might come off as a little intolerant itself. The Gnu Hunter has more.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 16, 2004 11:44 PM

"Women's liberation" through surgery?

Posted by: Bruce Rheinstein at June 16, 2004 at 11:54 PM

hmm, will they still be entitled to the virgins?

boy, modern life can get awfully confusing! tim, we'd better ask the imam about this!

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 16, 2004 at 11:55 PM

Surely if they wanted to improve their driving habits, an intensive course would have sufficed!

Posted by: nic at June 17, 2004 at 12:04 AM

I always thought Saudis drove like dicks, now it turns out you have to have one to drive.

Posted by: Lewis at June 17, 2004 at 12:44 AM

If this were the only way to be treated like a human being, wouldn't you?

Posted by: Rebecca at June 17, 2004 at 01:29 AM

See!? was that soooo hard? a simple operation and voila! everythings good. i dont see what these human rights morons are talking about... theres nothing wrong with the kingdom. but racist/imperialist/zionist/fascist/neo-nazi/kkk/warmongering America wont even give drivers licenses to blind people! talk about discrimination!

Posted by: Oktober at June 17, 2004 at 01:57 AM

If Saudi women have to go this extreme length for "liberation", that country is seriously bad shape. I hope those sisters (soon to be brothers) aren't shafted by some bureaucratic change of mind.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at June 17, 2004 at 02:01 AM

They can give up Shaving for good now.

Posted by: Charles at June 17, 2004 at 04:35 AM

All joking aside, this is rather gruesome. Brrr!

Posted by: Katherine at June 17, 2004 at 06:09 AM

Isn't Islam fun?

Posted by: EddieP at June 17, 2004 at 06:20 AM

If you're gonna drive a stick shift, guess you'd better have a stick to shift.

This is really nutty and so emblematic of Arab culture. Women are despised except as baby making machines, and men are prized. Now, the sisters, er, brothers, can have all the men they want. Yup, that's how it goes in Saudi.

Posted by: Helen at June 17, 2004 at 06:41 AM

Interesting how in the Harris article Seyit does NOT lay blame on the Islamic terrorists themselves for giving Islam such a bad image, but rather blames the western reporters who report the terrorism.

Posted by: jean-luc Bidet at June 17, 2004 at 10:49 AM


You are so right. And the interesting thing is that in Arab world the men are mostly emasculated as well. Treating women like shite is a sure sign that you've got a small penis.

Posted by: Toryhere at June 17, 2004 at 11:15 AM

I have it on very good authority that Saudi men shaft the bejezus out of each other regularly. No chicks you see..just BMO's (black moving objects) to perv on. Poor buggers, no wonder they are sooo pissed off and angry. But now we have to wear their shit too..great! Thanks alot 'religion of peace'.

Posted by: Dog at June 17, 2004 at 11:34 AM

Well, Dog,it makes a change from camels, and they don't try to bite or kick you while you're shafting them.

Posted by: Freddyboy at June 17, 2004 at 03:06 PM

Here's the ultimate tickler...

Would TV's Miriam (from Something about Miriam) be given a driver's license in Saudi Arabia?

Keep in mind, she is a pre-op transexual.


Posted by: Quentin George at June 17, 2004 at 05:32 PM

What Allah has decreed cannot be changed. There can be no sex change.


Posted by: AKBAR THE GREAT at June 17, 2004 at 05:35 PM

So Miriam gets to drive Allah, sir?

Seems the only way to have an equal relationship in the Kingdom of Saud is to shag another man.

Posted by: Quentin George at June 17, 2004 at 09:36 PM