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  • Approved for CNN

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    Posted June 29, 2012 by
    Niena
    Location
    Saudi Arabia
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    What if you weren't allowed to drive?

    More from Niena

    Rarely Drive A Car

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Niena iReporter Niena took this image of herself being driven to work in Saudi Arabia after seeing our assignment on women not being permitted to drive in the country. "It interests me, because I know how it feels not to experience something that you would love to do as a woman," she said. As for our idea to ask others across the world not to drive for the day to experience a little bit of how it must feel, she says: "The idea is great, it triggers awareness for other people around the world and creates empathy towards women who have never experienced such freedom."
    - sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer

    I am Niena Sevilla, an Overseas Filipino Worker.

     

    Last May marked my 6 years as an expatriate in Saudi Arabia. There were some cultural adjustments that I had encountered in my first few months here. But eventually, I was able to embrace their customs and I have so much  respect on  the laws that the Kingdom has implemented.

     

    Not driving a car at all isn't bizarre for me since  I have only driven a car thrice back in the early 2000's. I was trying to learn out of curiosity. Years ago, my father owned a very old car but he got rid of it right away. Driving a motorcyle is what I am very good at back in town (Palompon,Leyte Philippines).

     

    It would be an advantage if women could drive in Saudi Arabia.   Based on my experiences as an expat, we hire  taxicabs or private cars when we go to the  malls and  to other places. And the safest way is to tag along with a married couple friends who own a private car.

     

    Nevertheless, I don't have a problem in going to my workplace and vice versa. Our company has mini buses. Other than that, we have the option to claim our transportation allowance.

     

    To all Saudi Women, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavor.

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