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How one Saudi woman’s joyride created an international movement




Women's rights activist Manal al-Sharif attends the TIME 100 Gala, TIME'S 100 Most Influential People In The World, cocktail party at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 24, 2012 in New York City.
Women's rights activist Manal al-Sharif attends the TIME 100 Gala, TIME'S 100 Most Influential People In The World, cocktail party at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 24, 2012 in New York City.
Jemal Countess/Getty Images for TIME

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Saudi culture is notoriously strict when it comes to what women can and can’t do, and one Saudi woman learned that the hard way when she chose to go against a Saudi custom – women aren’t supposed to drive themselves anywhere.

So when Manal al-Sharif took a stand and filmed herself driving the streets of Khobar in 2011, it caused an uproar; the video garnered more than 120,000 views within a few hours, and al-Sharif was imprisoned for “driving while female.”

It’s this journey of accidental activism and self-discovery that Manal covers in her new memoir, “Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening.” From her past as a conservatively observant Muslim to her present as the head of the Women2Drive moment, “Daring to Drive” tells the story of a Saudi woman who took the wheel – and her life – into her own hands.

Manal will be speaking at the “ALOUD” series at the Library Foundation of Los Angeles June 21. For more information, click here.

Guest host Libby Denkmann in for Larry Mantle

Guest:

Manal al-Sharif, a women’s rights activist from Saudi Arabia; her memoir is “Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening” (Simon & Schuster, 2017); she tweets @manal_alsharif