Ford offers Saudi activist her dream car

 02 Oct 2017 - 19:05

Ford offers Saudi activist her dream car

AFP

Dubai:   Ford has decided to present a Saudi Arabian activist with her dream car, after a landmark decree allowing women to drive for the first time in the ultra-conservative kingdom's history.

Ford Middle East wrote on Twitter that it had a yellow Mustang waiting to be picked up by women's rights activist Sahar Nassif -- who had declared her love for the car in an interview shortly after the royal decree was issued on September 26.

"We'd like to give you your dream car," Ford Middle East tweeted to Nassif on Friday, followed hours later by "Your Mustang awaits" with the picture of a yellow car speeding through a tunnel and the hashtag #MustangSahar.

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday announced it would allow women to drive from June 2018, ending a policy that for decades had severely curbed women's mobility.

The decision has opened up a lucrative new market for carmakers, with major brands already stepping up efforts to attract customers.

In recent years a number of women activists were detained for getting behind the wheel in Saudi Arabia.

In a rare act of mass protest in the kingdom, 47 Saudi women formed a convoy and drove through the capital Riyadh in November 1990 to demonstrate against the ban on driving.

They were taken into custody and only released after their male guardians guaranteed the act would not be repeated.

The kingdom still has some of the world's tightest restrictions on women: under the state guardianship system, a male family member -- normally the father, husband or brother -- must grant permission for a woman's study, travel and other activities.