As I was just saying in my last MENA-Forum article, “Fostering understanding between the Saudis and the US“, one of my suggestions was for drastic reform measures. Assuming everyone knows that Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where woman are restricted from driving cars, I thought it was clever to suggest that the women should all be trained and employed as Uber drivers. This morning I awoke to the internet headline of, “Royal Brunei Airlines’ first all-female pilot crew lands plane in Saudi Arabia – where women are not allowed to drive.”
LOL!!! I can only imagine how this event must have made the Saudi men crazy. Of course I had to find out if there were any arrests of the female pilots like they do women of their country who break the law by driving cars. No. But had they tried to drive themselves anywhere once they landed, watch out they would have been thrown into the slammer.
According to Alison Lynch for Metro.co.uk, “All-female flight crew land plane in country where they’re not even allowed to drive” on Tuesday 15 Mar 2016:
Estimates from the International Society of Women Airline Pilots (ISA) last year suggested there are about 4,000 women pilots worldwide, out of around 130,000, which is just over three per cent.
Captain Czarena trained at the Cabair Flying School in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, and flies on a number of the airline’s major routes.
In 2012, she made history by becoming the first female captain of a flag carrier airline in Southeast Asia. And in December 2013, she became the first Royal Brunei pilot to fly out of London Heathrow in its flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
On 24 February , they became Royal Brunei Airlines’ first all-female flight crew, piloting a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on flight BI081 from Brunei to Jeddah.
It was a landmark moment for the airline, not least because the female pilots landed into Saudi Arabia – a country where women aren’t even allowed to drive a car (while there isn’t an official law banning women from driving, Saudi clerics argue female drivers ‘undermine social values’).
What was that about undermining social values? Oh yeah, socially repressed values that is. Helena Horton of The Telegraph, (Thursday, 17 March 2016) put it best when she wrote, “The kingdom is the only country in the world that forbids women from driving, with Muslim clerics claiming “licentiousness” will spread if women drive.”
That word is not even part of my vocabulary. You too need assistance with the definition? I’ll save you the effort. According to Webster’s NewWorld Dictionary:
- [Rare] Disregarding accepted rules and standards
- Morally unrestrained, esp. in sexual activity; lascivious.
Right. Some things are best left unsaid.
So my next thought is, does Saudi Arabia have any women pilots of their own? Yes, the first flying license issued to a female was to Hanadi Al-Hindi who flies wide-bodied luxury planes for the Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and his company the Kingdom Holding Company as reported by BBC News from Elsewhere programme of 23 April 2014.
I have changed my mind regarding drastic reform to employ all Saudi females as Uber drivers. My new thought is just employ them as commercial and fighter pilots and let the men drive the taxis.