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Saudi woman takes son on first drive, says ‘having a driver was never a luxury’

Published: Updated:

A Saudi woman chose to take her son with her during the first journey she took as driver in the kingdom, as a nationwide ban on women driving ended on Sunday.

In an exclusive Al Arabiya English video, Dr. ‏Taghreed Alohali – who works in healthcare – said that driving was an “actual necessity,” to take her child to school and travel between workplaces and home.

“Having a driver was never as luxurious as people thought,” she said, while driving through Riyadh in the early hours of Sunday.

“I’m very happy today, I’m happy for me, and for all women in Saudi Arabia,” she said, adding that her father and husband have been her biggest supporters.

“I learned to drive 14 years ago, because my father thought it was important for both boys and girls to drive, but I never thought that one day I would be driving on Saudi Arabia’s streets!”

Al Arabiya English has been on the ground documenting the historic moment:

VOX POPS: Saudi women speak on how driving will help in their daily lives

WATCH: Saudi woman talks empowerment as she takes the driver’s seat

VIDEO: Saudi women in drivers’ seats not only in cars, but motorcycles as well

An A-Z guide on how Saudi women can obtain their driver’s license