(The New York Times)–“O.K. Come drive now,” said the trainer.
“Oh my God,” the architecture student replied.
She climbed into the driver’s seat, put on her seatbelt, found the pedals, released the hand brake and put the car into drive. Then she took a deep breath, eased her foot off the brake and began doing, for the first time, what women will soon be doing all over Saudi Arabia: driving.
“Is this O.K.?” the student, Rahaf Alzahrani, 21, asked nervously as she inched along.
“Yes. It’s O.K.,” the instructor said.
Three and a half months remain before the date when the rulers of this ultraconservative kingdom have promised to lift the longstanding ban on women driving, and many here are already planning for what is sure to be a major change in Saudi society.