emirati_women-travel.jpgSending a small message to society to say “women can do so”,  four young Emirati women have toured the country in a car breaking tradition by travelling alone without a male relative. The Emirati Women’s Traveller Group was featured in Gulf News.com.


  1. It is good news that the women made it safely to their destination, but I struggle with our fascination with such stories.

    As Westerners, why are we always anxious to see people breaking with their cultural traditions? Everyone knows women “can” drive a car, read a map, struggle on a long journey through the desert. If it is religiously and/or culturally unacceptable for them to do so, what is wrong with that?

    What if people applauded a disregard for what we still find unacceptable (i.e., public nudity, pedophilia, spousal abuse, theft, etc.)?

    Why is it that the only time we welcome news from the Middle East is when they are fighting or embracing secularism. Perhaps our disregard for moral standards is the reason we are struggling to find good news in the first place.

    Just something to think about.

  2. I’m not anxious or fascinated as you’ve suggested. That stories that I reprint or publish from the middle-east reflect a variety of news, from women being able to vote for the first time (going against tradition) to artists or businessmen expressing a new generation of style, like the first coffee bar in Kanduhar.

    I knew some traditionalists would associate this with a “break-down” of morals, values, authority, etc.

    Here’s how I see it. If four women want to tour their country for the sheer JOY of it. That is reason enough. The world is here to enJOY, by ourselves or in groups without men.

    Every generation has to define what life means to them. If these women think it is “WRONG” that society try to keep them from enjoying their tour of historical sites, then, that is the definition for them. You suggest it may be ‘right’ to preserve an earlier generation’s views of what is acceptable, but this is none of our business. The new generation in the Middle-East will decide for itself.

    Finally, to bring up the suggestion that NEXT we might accept pedophilia, spousal abuse, or theft is not a great arguement. We are talking about activites that don’t hurt others. In the US, these are known as individual liberties…

    Hurray for the girlfriends!!

    First they get the vote, and next the right to drive alone!

  3. Kudos to these women.

    To the first comment poster I’d like to say that it’s not about defying tradition. It’s about freedom and equality. If men can travel alone, so can women! Like Geri says, it’s about individual liberty. The best news according to me would be when everybody on this planet would be able to realize it.

    Hurray for the girlfriends indeed!

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