The Greatest Question We Shall Ever Ask

Personal

Who are you?

No not the you that everyone sees walking around at work/ university but the real you. The you that is raw and free to act in the manner in which you want. The you that can come out when you are alone at home or in the wilderness, taking in the atmosphere.

Take some time right now; yes, right now, to think to yourself. Think about your past, your present and what you aspire for your future to be like.

Think of all your likes and dislikes. What makes you smile and what makes you anxious, are also important points to think over. What are your flaws? What are your strengths?

Once you have thought about your life and who you are, make a promise to yourself to work towards what you thought of when you considered the future you desired. Only you can achieve that; no one else can, only you.

I truly believe that we become too absorbed into the happenings around us that we fail to look inwards and understand who we are as a person. Yes, we may understand the primary layer of who we are but deeper than that, only a few understand.

To become who we are destined to become, we have to acknowledge that only through self-awareness and persistence to work towards our goals are we to ever become the person we want to become.

I do not know everything about myself and I don’t think I ever will. However, I am thankful that each day I am granted the opportunity to learn more about who I am and acknowledge that I am getting closer to the goals I have set.

To come closer towards who you were always meant to be is one of the greatest gifts that life can grant you.

You must begin to look inwards rather than become distracted by the happenings of the busy modern world. Self-awareness is important and by acknowledging so, you can be closer to the ideal goal you have of yourself. However only you can acknowledge what needs to be worked upon.

Our lives are limited to digits on a clock but by making the time we have worth it; we can live the life we have always desired. You are the navigator and only you.

Live largely and leave the greatest legacy behind. You are amazing.

Saudi Women: Will a decree change anything?

Journalism

Within the region of Saudia Arabia, women have been unable to drive and/or hold a license due to the ultra-conservative nation’s laws prohibiting such from occurring. However, Saudi King Salman has issued a decree that now permits women to drive from next year onwards. Responses to the decree have been both positive and negative, with individuals from both sides seeking to raise their perspectives over social media. Particularly Twitter.

Alyazya from Yazzeus gives an in-depth perspective into the region through her own research and the thoughts of others and explores how the change will affect the lives of women.

Allowing women to drive is a historical step for Saudi women; however, the extent to which this law will be effective is questionable. There’s no doubt that some women will drive but how many will they be? What role will the guardianship system play? What consequences will they face for practising this newly given right?

 The Guardianship System

In Saudi Arabia, women are systematically oppressed under the guardianship system. There is no question that the guardians will abuse their power to prohibit women from driving. The kingdom took note of that and set regulations to limit the guardians’ power. In an article published in Makkah Newspaper, Saudi Lawyer, Naif Al Mansi stated that disallowing one’s wife, daughter, or sister to drive is an abuse of power. In such case, the woman has the right to ignore his refusal and get her license. If he responds with verbal and physical abuse, she may file a lawsuit against her guardian.

There is no denying that some women will not rebel against their guardian, and hence, the guardianship system is going to act as a barrier to women wanting to drive. Regardless, taking precautions is a big step for Saudi women. Hopefully, it will continue to head in the right direction.

Conservative Saudis

The rise of activism that in Saudi in the past few years came with a lot of backlash, anger, misogynist remarks and degrading comments on social media. Similarly, a few hours after King Salman’s announcement the hashtag  “الشعب ضد قيادة المراة” or “the people are against women driving” was trending, #1, in the region for 2 consecutive days. Numerous people used this hashtag to defend a women’s right to drive; however, a large number of them were either various jokes about women driving or complete anger and backlash.

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Top tweets found under the hashtag “الشعب ضد قيادة المراة” or “the people are against women driving” in the region of Saudi Arabia.

@nowrah77: “It’s a sad night for my country. I’m afraid of the demise of the blessings [An Arabic expression which translates to the fear of the repercussions that the blessings may bring] God has given to us: the blessings of Islam and safety.” (Translated)

@awee25: “Since this hashtag has been number 1 since yesterday, I am assured that the entire population is against women driving, not just the majority.” (Translated)

@tj59yJkuFk8FUQL: “How many girls will get raped? How many women will get divorced? How many kids will get lost [In life]? How many men will deviate [This insinuates that men will lose their “holiness”]? How many accidents will happen? How many murders will occur?” (Translated)

These few examples are enough to showcase some of the mentalities that exist in Saudi Arabia. Many people blame a lot of problems in the liberation of women, whether it is freedom of work or movement. This is not the only hashtag that was trending on Twitter, another one was “نحن بنات سلمان لا نريد القيادة” or “We are the daughters of Salman and we don’t want to drive.” It is not uncommon for women to stand against women in Saudi Arabia. It was seen throughout the years, as social media activism rose. Of course, Saudi Arabia is not a democracy that can be criticized by its people. As a result, anyone who objects to the King’s orders will be faced with 5 years in prison.

Harassment

In the past, a woman walking outside in Saudi Arabia will get harassed, surrounded and terrorized by a herd of men. Which made me wonder, what will the consequences for being seen driving in the streets of Saudi be? However, with the new sexual harassment laws in Saudi that followed women driving laws, I’m positive that men will be criminalized for harassing Saudi women, and thus, it will reduce.

Driving Trends

The central region of Saudi Arabia is said to be the most conservative in comparison to the eastern and western regions. This naturally grew my curiosity regarding the driving trends that we’ll witness in Saudi Arabia and so I took the opinion of two Saudi women regarding the topic. Sarah, from Mecca, stated, “I think people everywhere will start teaching their daughters because I’ve seen Bedouins who are the most conservative stand with women driving. I’m not sure about people in villages though or children who have not been exposed to an open-minded community.” Rania, from Khobar, believes that there will be more women driving in the eastern region of Saudi because the central region is extremely conservative and the west is home to Holy Mecca as well Madinah.

Further questions were asked in relation to the “allowance” of Saudi women to drive. These questions consisted of:

  1. Given that some regions are more conservative than others how do you see the women driving patterns in Saudi in the near future?
  2. The guardianship system is obviously still in place, how will this impede women driving?
  3. How long do you think it will take before we see a rise in women drivers in Saudi?

Three women from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital, were interviewed using these questions. These were their responses.

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Capture 2.2

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(Individuals name are kept anonymous for purpose of their own security)

The responses of these women indicate that it will only be a matter of time before change is noticed in nearby regions. The Saudi region is very adaptive to change and will thus change rapidly due to a large amount of individuals on board.

It is only a matter of time before women are enabled further rights in the region and neighbouring regions. Hopefully, the time for this comes sooner rather than later.

Equality for all.

Alyazya from “Yazzeus.com” has written many pieces and articles on her website. Be sure to check it out.

The journey of a writer

Personal

The daily occurrences of myself, a writer, include:

I wake up early in the morning, between the hours of 6 and 7. After a period of time struggling to get up, I walk over to the kettle and switch it on, preparing my coffee whilst I read the news from the day. I hop on my computer and write a short list of points in relation to topics I wish to write about for the day. I also compile a list of thoughts within my mind that need rearranging to perhaps allow a detailed understanding to form. I also jot down worries I may have for that day.

After a period of time, I have breakfast and get changed into appropriate clothing for the day. Throughout the day I still debate internally on the various topics within my classes at university that I could write about later. I always search for possible stories around me. Perhaps through individuals activities or situations, I always am searching. No story is too unimportant or uninteresting.

I consume various stories by other individuals, either via their blogs, websites or through media platforms constantly between activities. I also like to indulge myself in creative stories, particularly on Reddit. I always find a large amount of talent on various subreddits, especially “NoSleep.” With my phone on me, I have no excuse to not partake in creating change.

After the various activities of the day including dinner, I like to relax and get ready for bed. This includes reading a novel and spending time with my girlfriend. I also find I do my best work at night. Perhaps it’s because there are fewer distractions and also less pressure upon myself to do things.

After the day is over, I know tomorrow will push me closer towards the goals I have. A writers life is not easy but damn is it worth it. I cannot wait to make a difference to people’s lives and by writing every day, I get closer to that goal.

One day will eventually become today.

What does your day consist of?