Women of Saudi Arabia have a lot to rejoice about. The recent developments in reference to women rights are enough for the women in Saudi Arabia to celebrate. This month’s issue of Vogue Arabia has released their cover page revealing Saudi princess behind the wheel of a car. In a country that didn’t allow women to drive, this is surely a revolutionary step!
— Vogue Arabia (@VogueArabia) May 28, 2018
June 24 will be a momentous day in Saudi Arabia for sure. On that day, women will be able to officially drive freely in the country. Although for the world it might not be, but for the Women of Saudi Arabia, this is huge!
The New Crown Prince
Under the guidance of new crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, the air of Saudi Arabia is changing. Saudi Arabia is attempting to recreate the image of its country. In the light of this, it is making efforts to modernize its economy and remove social constraints.
Vogue Arabia Cover
This month’s issue of Vogue Arabia, presents Princess Hayfa bint Abdullah Al Saud, the daughter of the late king. Not only is she dressed glamorously, but also sitting in the front seat of a convertible Merc. Furthermore, the headline of the cover says:
“Driving Force: celebrating the trailblazing women of Saudi Arabia”
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🇸🇦“In our country, there are some conservatives who fear change. For many, it’s all they have known. Personally, I support these changes with great enthusiasm.” HRH Princess Hayfa bint Abdullah Al Saud is in the driving seat on the cover of #VogueArabia’s first-ever #SaudiIssue. The Saudi issue will launch in a monumental month, with the ban on women driving in the Kingdom set to be lifted on June 24. Read our exclusive interview with the artist and daughter of the late King Abdullah in the June issue, on shelves June 1. Cover 1 of 3 #VogueArabia 🇸🇦 Photography @boo_george_studio Fashion Direction @katieellentrotter Interview @mrarnaut Production @snapfourteen في بلدنا، بعض المحافظين يخشون التغيير. وبالنسبة لكثيرين، هذا كل ما يعرفون. وأنا عن نفسي أؤيد هذه التغييرات بكل حماس"، هذا ما صرحت به سمو الأميرة هيفاء بنت عبد الله آل سعود، والتي تظهر خلف عجلة قيادة السيارة على غلاف #عدد_الاحتفاء_بالسعودية الأول من نوعه على الإطلاق من #ڤوغ_العربية. وسيصدر عدد الاحتفاء بالسعودية هذا في شهر تاريخي يشهد تنفيذ قرار رفع الحظر عن قيادة النساء للسيارات في المملكة، والمقرر يوم 24 يونيو. اقرؤوا حوارنا الحصري مع الأميرة في عدد يونيو، والذي يتوافر في منافذ البيع اعتباراً من الأول من يونيو. #ڤوغ_العربية
Social Media Controversy
Many women activists of Saudi Arabia were arrested on their attempts to drive openly. So this isn’t just a run of the mill magazine cover. It signifies REAL change.
Vogue Arabia’s cover also received tremendous outrage on social media. Moreover, still some Saudi women’s rights activists are in jail for their bravado. Vogue Arabia was also criticized on forgetting the unfair treatment and celebrating the lift of driving ban.
In addition to it, many commentators also expressed surprise over the showcase of Saudi Royal Family’s female member on the cover. Whereas, many activists who have campaigned for women’s rights for years have been punished up until today.
— Fadi Al-Qadi (@fqadi) May 31, 2018
You've got to be kidding me. A princess graces the cover of next month's Vogue Arabia while @azizayousef @Saudiwoman @LoujainHathloul and other activist women who have worked tirelessly to lift driving ban languish in jail pic.twitter.com/gEmXh8sTHL
— Bethan McKernan (@mck_beth) May 31, 2018
Do you know that the women who asked for the right to drive now are in prison on charges of state treason … Please amend this issue of the magazine because it violates the rights of activists #FreeSaudiActivists
— elana~إيلانا (@elana2212) May 31, 2018
What a shameful insensitive cover! Did you know that KSA put women rights activists in jail last week? So HRH the princess can drive a car, it's okay, everything is cool in the kingdom, and let @LoujainHathloul and friends burn in hell? Shame on you Vogue Arabia and Mr. Arnaut!
— Sanaa (@Sanaalkhoury) May 30, 2018
She doesn’t deserve to be on the cover. Her backward « royal family » are the reason for women in saudi not enjoying this right from the beginning. The real heros and heroines are behind bars!
— Samira Abdulla (@tanweengun) May 31, 2018
Activist’s Picture Instead of the Princess
In continuation to the above objections raised, one activist came up with his own version (in fact versions) of Vogue Cover. He replaced the face of the princess with the faces of activists Lojain al-Hathloul and Aziza al-Yousef.
This is the first ever issue of Vogue, dedicated to the Women of Saudi Arabia. Also, it’s a step towards change.
This Vogue cover shouts out to the whole world that Saudis and its people are evolving. Correspondingly, the government and its people are evolving in all aspects of life and there is no turning back now! Mohammed bin Salman is all set to lead the country in a new direction and bring revolutionary changes!