A serious social issue in Saudi Arabia is getting some more attention thanks to a viral YouTube video. In light of the recent buzz surrounding Saudi women rebelling against the country’s ban on females driving, 26-year-old Saudi comedian Hisham Fageeh released a parody music video titled “No Woman, No Drive”, a clever take on Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry.” The spoof video was produced with the help of Fageeh’s musician friends Fahad Albutairi and Alaa Wardi. Lyrics include: “In this bright future, you can’t forget your past, so put your car key away.” The video was uploaded to YouTube where it has already been viewed more than 3.8 million times so far. Fageeh says the idea for the video came to him while he was in the shower singing the Bob Marley classic in his head.
The “No Woman, No Drive” video was released with Arabic subtitles on October 26th to coincide with the day planned for women to take the wheel and protest the ban. About 60 women ended up participating, however many of them had foreign licenses. In 1995 some 50 Saudi women participated in a similar driving ban protest. They were jailed for a day, had their passports confiscated and were fired from their jobs. Fageeh’s video is a reminder that there are Saudi men who support women’s right to drive in the kingdom. He says “The conversations happening now have taken generations,” adding “It’s a recipe for change.”