JEDDAH: June 24 is a red-letter day for Saudi Arabia and its womenfolk. The lifting of a ban on women driving is yet another milestone on the road to female empowerment.
In a bid to encourage women to hit the roads, the General Entertainment Authority, the General Department of Traffic, Saudi Aramco, Dallah Albaraka, and Al-Hokair Group, organized a program titled “Tawakkali wa Intaliqi (Have faith and drive) from June 21 to 23 in Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam and Tabuk.
The aim of the event was to educate participants about traffic rules and safety measures.
The program, held outside Jeddah’s Red Sea Mall, was divided into five sections: Safety, mechanics, knowing how to drive using driving simulators, parking techniques, and carting.
Wissam Chehade, the event organizer, said: “This program is really important. Our message is for females as it is their first time to drive and we are here to teach them the ABCs of driving.”
He said sometimes knowing the basics is more important than driving itself as it makes things easier at a later stage.
“It took a long time to prepare the program, studying how it can have an impact on people. We are covering topics from mechanics to safety, using special simulators, and the basics of knowing how to park a car,” Chehade said.
He said that the program was created to encourage women to learn how to drive.
“We created it for women who think they might not be able to drive or obtain a license, who are questioning if they are ready to go take the required course — wondering if it is the right time.
“We are here to show them that it is not that difficult, it is something everybody can do and the basics are not that difficult. We are here to give them a real-life driving experience,” Chehade added.
Rahaf Aseeri, a participant, said: “It was a lovely experience. I learned how to use the brakes and other things. I learned things I never knew before. It was a great event and I benefited a lot from it.”
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