Daring to Drive: Book summary and reviews of Daring to Drive by Manal al-Sharif

Daring to Drive

A Saudi Woman's Awakening

by Manal al-Sharif

Daring to Drive by Manal al-Sharif
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2017
    304 pages
    Genre: Biographies/Memoirs

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Book Summary

A ferociously intimate memoir by a devout woman from a modest family in Saudi Arabia who became the unexpected leader of a courageous movement to support women's right to drive.

Manal al-Sharif grew up in Mecca the second daughter of a taxi driver, born the year fundamentalism took hold. In her adolescence, she was a religious radical, melting her brother's boy band cassettes in the oven because music was haram: forbidden by Islamic law. But what a difference an education can make. By her twenties she was a computer security engineer, one of few women working in a desert compound that resembled suburban America. That's when the Saudi kingdom's contradictions became too much to bear: she was labeled a slut for chatting with male colleagues, her teenage brother chaperoned her on a business trip, and while she kept a car in her garage, she was forbidden from driving down city streets behind the wheel.

Daring to Drive is the fiercely intimate memoir of an accidental activist, a powerfully vivid story of a young Muslim woman who stood up to a kingdom of men - and won. Writing on the cusp of history, Manal offers a rare glimpse into the lives of women in Saudi Arabia today. Her memoir is a remarkable celebration of resilience in the face of tyranny, the extraordinary power of education and female solidarity, and the difficulties, absurdities, and joys of making your voice heard.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Fascinating, powerful, and heartbreaking, al-Sharif's story should be required reading. Perfect for readers interested in Middle Eastern affairs, gender politics, and international women's rights, as well as the role of social media in worldwide activism." - Library Journal

"An intimate and powerful book from what is hopefully only the first of many Saudi voices to speak out." - Kirkus

"Future generations will marvel at Manal al-Sharif, whose voice is laden with quiet dignity even at its most urgent. Her gripping account of homegrown courage will speak to the fighter in all of us." - Deborah Feldman, New York Times bestselling author of Unorthodox

"An astonishing, humble, truthful book, more illuminating than a hundred newspaper stories on Saudi Arabia. Manal is no Chanel-draped, chauffeur-driven Saudi princess. Her account of why a single working mother's life compelled her to confront the kingdom's fiercely patriarchal ways is touching and revealing in equal measure." - Azadeh Moaveni, author of Lipstick Jihad

"A captivating read. Manal al-Sharif refuses to hide her scars, unveiling what she endured and sacrificed to become a professional who has fearlessly pushed the boundaries of tradition." - Elena Gorokhova, author of Russian Tattoo

"Remarkable. Manal al-Sharif invites us to ride with her to bend the arc of history towards equality and justice." - Rula Jebreal, international bestselling author of Miral

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Manal al-Sharif is a women's rights activist from Saudi Arabia who was imprisoned in 2011 for driving a car. She has been lauded by Foreign Policy, Time, Forbes, and the Oslo Freedom Forum. Daring to Drive is her first book.

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