- May 24, 2011
Saudi woman's "right to drive" protest video circulates online despite gov't. efforts
Manal al-Sharif's campaign for women's right to drive – Click above to watch video after the jump
The Arab Spring has brought a wave of change and reform to the Middle East, but that tide has seemingly stopped at Saudi Arabia. According to The New York Times, the Saudi government has effectively squelched a movement championed by Manal al-Sharif. The woman wasn't campaigning for the overthrow of the government or the death of the country's leaders. Instead, she was simply demonstrating for women's right to drive in her country. Sharif posted videos of herself driving on YouTube and started Facebook and Twitter accounts that prompted other Saudi women to do the same.
That's when the Saudi government stepped in. Sharif was arrested for her transgressions and her videos were removed from YouTube. Later, a Facebook page she had set up to instruct other women about how to get involved was deleted and a duplicate of her Twitter account began posting messages indicating that she had stopped her efforts.
But this is the internet, and nothing is gone forever. Copies of Sharif's original message have reappeared on YouTube and an Al Jazeera report on her campaign is still available. You can check out the full report at The New York Times and watch the videos after the break.