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news details
As Saudi Ends Ban, Riyadh Erupts In Midnight Cheers For A Woman In A Car
6/24/2018 12:32:20 PM
Agencies
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA:Every few metres someone -- a newlywed couple, a group of young girls with balloons -- stops Samar Almogren to cheer her on or flash her a thumbs-up.

It's midnight in Riyadh, and she's making her way across the city she was born and raised in, finally in the driver's seat of her own car.

Saudi Arabia's notorious ban on women driving ended on Sunday. After drinking tea and counting down the minutes, at midnight, Samar -- a TV anchor and mother-of-three -- went upstairs to kiss her four-year-old son Salloum goodnight.

She then put on a flowing white abaya, strode out of her front door, accompanied by her best friend, and walked towards a white GMC parked outside her house in the Narjiss neighbourhood in northern Riyadh.

Across the street, her neighbour had just arrived home with two bags of groceries. He paused, placed his shopping on the hood of his car, and watched her closely.

In her cateye glasses, wedge sandals and nose ring, she did not skip a beat. She smiled, climbed in, started the ignition and pulled out of her parking spot.

"I have goosebumps," she says as she turns onto the King Fahd highway, the main road in the Saudi capital.

She drives in silence for a few minutes, glancing up at the moon, then adds: "I never in my life imagined I would be driving here. On this road. Driving."
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