Saudi journalist, writer and novelist Samar Al-Mogren on Sunday became one of the first women to drive in the Kingdom.
“I never in my life imagined I would be driving here. On this road. Driving,” she said on Riyadh’s King Fahd Highway.
On her first drive, she took her youngest son, aged 4, to his grandmother’s house.
Al-Mogren received her bachelor’s degree in pre-elementary education in 2001 from King Saud University in Riyadh. In 2017, she received her master’s in public relations and media, on the role of Saudi women writers in ushering social change in the Kingdom, from the National University in Bahrain.
Al-Mogren used to head the community section of Al-Watan newspaper, becoming the first female to head a daily section that is not fully dedicated to women in a local newspaper.
She was a columnist for Emirati magazine Bint Al-Khaleej, and wrote articles for international news agencies.
She also produced “Imra’a wa Akthar,” a program dedicated to discussing concerns that Saudi women face on a daily basis.
Al-Mogren launched a media campaign to stop men from working in women’s lingerie stores. She published interviews and reports on the struggles facing Saudi female prisoners, and women facing violence and discrimination.
Saudi women steered their way through busy city streets on Sunday, driving to work, running errands and relishing a new era in which they are allowed to drive and no longer need to rely on men to move around.
A longstanding ban on women driving was lifted on June 24, ushering in a historic moment.
The ban had relegated women to the backseat, restricting when they could meet friends, where they could spend their time and how they could plan out their day.