Podcast

‘They Took Them Quietly. All of Them Are in Jail Today.’

On the podcast: A woman who challenged the Saudi regime by getting behind the wheel of a car speaks out.

Manal al-Sharif reads from her book, Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening, in Munich on Oct. 8, 2017. (Andreas Gebert/picture alliance via Getty Images/Foreign Policy illustration)
Manal al-Sharif reads from her book, Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening, in Munich on Oct. 8, 2017. (Andreas Gebert/picture alliance via Getty Images/Foreign Policy illustration)

Few people around the world have been following the story of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi more closely than Saudi dissidents. Many of them fled Saudi Arabia to avoid being jailed or persecuted for their acts of protest. That the regime would target Khashoggi outside the country—he was apparently killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul—raises questions about their own safety.

One of those dissidents is Manal al-Sharif, a Saudi activist who now lives in Australia. Back in 2011, Sharif got behind the wheel of a car in Saudi Arabia and went for a spin, defying the driving ban her country imposed on women. She was briefly jailed and eventually left Saudi Arabia but was forced to leave her son behind. Sharif tells her story on our podcast this week and describes the plight of other activists who stayed in Saudi Arabia.

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