By John Smith •
Published: 24 Jun 2018 • 9:53
A very creative advert from the Ford Motor Company
AT Midnight last night (Saturday), women living in Saudi Arabia were officially allowed to drive after a decades-old driving ban was lifted.
The decision to make the change was announced last September and the Saudi authorities issued the first licences to women earlier this month.
Car manufacturers, especially those from the USA, were very quick to start advertising their cars in the oil rich kingdom and some of their adverts were both artistic and clever bearing in mind that this is still a very conservative country despite the recent steps towards liberalisation promoted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Saudi Arabia has a very high percentage of people under the age of 30 and the country is slowly but surely moving towards a more moderate attitude in its religious observances.
Until now, it was the only country in the world where women were banned from driving and therefore had to be ferried around by their families or chauffeurs but according to Amnesty International, at least eight women who campaigned for the right to drive have been arrested and are awaiting trial.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development.
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