Windows Down, Abaya Up: Saudi Female Rapper Celebrates Driving

Published July 1st, 2018 - 09:59 GMT
Screenshot taken from the rap video for the Saudi rapper, Lessa A, in which she celebrates Saudi women driving.
Screenshot taken from the rap video for the Saudi rapper, Lessa A, in which she celebrates Saudi women driving.

“The steering wheel in my hands, the pedal is under my foot, I don’t need anyone to take me, I will take care of myself by myself.” By those words, the female Saudi rapper Leesa A, released her Arabic song celebrating the lifting of the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia.

In the song, Lessa jumps behind a car steering, wearing her abaya, pressing the accelerator and changing the gears while rapping.

The song that went viral in Saudi Arabia soon after being published, and has been watched for over 719,000 times on YouTube.

The video sparked a debate among Saudis who were split between fans and critics.

Faisal Moh95, a Saudi user tried to translate the Arabic lyrics of the song for an English user, and apologized for what he called “trash” on behalf of Saudis.

His tweet was attacked by Lessa fans and Saudi women supporters who expressed their admiration of the song and the girl’s independence and strength.

Translation: “If you have a female rapper then there is absolutely rap singing then there is women freedom. Then why do you celebrate allowing women to drive?”

Lessa published the video on June 24, the day in which Saudi women were officially allowed to hit the road to end the long-standing ban on their driving in Saudi Arabia that made the Kingdom the only country in the world where women were not allowed to drive.

The ban-lifting is the first step of many reforms demanded in the ultra-conservative Kingdom of Saudi Arabia regarding the male guardianship system, women’s freedom of dress and several others.


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