TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – A video posted on social media shows a burning car in western Saudi Arabia, as a woman speaking in Arabic while crying after reportedly a group of men who were angry over the female driver’s purchase of the vehicle set her car ablaze.
31-year-old Salma Al-Sherif, who works as a cashier near the holy city of Mecca, claimed that her car was deliberately set alight by men “opposed to women drivers”.
Al-Sherif had borrowed money from a neighbour to buy a car to support her family. She told Saudi newspaper Okaz that “half of [my] salary of 4,000 riyals [$1,067] was spent on a driver to take me to my workplace and drive my elderly parents”.
Everyone in her family including her husband encouraged Al-Sherif to obtain a driving a license once the ban on driving for women was lifted two weeks ago. The car was a “lifeline”, Al-Sherif said, which she had managed to secure using money she had earned herself.
But from day one of driving her car Al-Sherif was subjected to insults from men who were opposed to Bin Salman's reforms. Those insults, Al-Sherif said, “were on every tongue from people [I] did not expect”. She claimed she was threatened by people who insisted that it was wrong for her to drive.