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The Woman Who Dared to Drive

By Sohrab Ahmari, Wall Street Journal - March 23, 2013

'You know when you have a bird, and it's been in a cage all its life? When you open the cage door, it doesn't want to leave. It was that moment." This is how Manal al-Sharif felt the first time she sat behind the wheel of a car in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom's taboo against women driving is only rarely broken. To hear her recount the experience is as thrilling as it must have been to sit in the passenger seat beside her. Well, almost. Ms. Sharif says her moment of hesitation didn't last long. She pressed the gas pedal and in an instant her Cadillac SUV rolled forward. She spent the next hour circling the streets of Khobar, in the kingdom's eastern province, while a friend used an iPhone camera to record the journey.

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