A new video protesting Saudi Arabia’s ban on women driving has become a major viral sensation, racking up more than 3 million views in just two days.
It features Bob Marley’s iconic song, “No Woman, No Cry” re-written by Saudi performer Hisham Fageeh as “No Woman, No Drive,” in which he pokes fun at the recent warning by a Muslim cleric that driving is harmful to women’s ovaries.
The video was posted to coincide with a weekend protest in which women in the kingdom took to the wheel to push for a reform in Saudi law that today does not allow women to obtain driver’s licenses.
At least 12 women were reportedly detained over the weekend for violating the female driving ban.
Fageeh – who describes himself as a “social activist” - performs the song a cappella with multiple audio tracks featuring his singing, clapping and whistling. He sings in English:
Say, I remember when you used to sit
In the family car, but backseat
Ova-ovaries all safe and well
So you can make lots and lots of babies.
“Hey little sister, don't touch that wheel; No woman, no drive,” Fageeh sings.
He highlights Saudi satisfaction with keeping women at home, singing:
But you can cook for me my dinner,
Of which I'd share with you.
Your feet are your only carriage,
But only inside the house – and when I say it, I mean it.
Fageeh, who studied in New York, told Al Arabiya: “There are a lot of elements of satire in the video but we just wanted to do something that was fun and funny and I just had the best theme in the world and that sort of came together brilliantly.”
Female Saudi blogger Tamador Alyami told CNN, “It cracked me up. I laughed and I shared it with everybody.”
The Saudi video can be seen here: