MSU Saudi Arabian students react to women being allowed to driv - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

MSU Saudi Arabian students react to women being allowed to drive

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BOZEMAN -

Happening tonight across the country and around the world, Saudi Arabia is easing restrictions on women driving finally allowing almost half its population to get behind the wheel.

For many from Saudi Arabia, this is a huge step for the country and* women who live in it. 

In fact, many Montana State University exchange students say this change will make a huge difference in the lives of many.

One Saudi Arabian MSU student knows this all too well.

"I feel great about it. To be honest, it's a historical moment and it's something that we've been waiting for for a long time and it's finally happening,” Norah Alvaiz, Senior MSU student.  “I guess with change people always try to fight back sometimes but change is going to  happen someday and now is the time for the step."

 Alvaizs says the laws prohibiting women from driving has robbed them of the ability to perform everyday tasks. 

"A lot of women can't afford to get a driver for just basic needs to go places and I think that will help what it would like to reduce having use outside help," said Alvaizs.

 Since coming to the US Alvaiz has learned to drive, and she can't wait to do so in her home country. 

"It as exciting,” said Alvaiz. “I kind of learned to drive when I was younger back at home, but I never got to actually drive on the streets. So I had to learn what were the rules and learn to drive along with people in real life."

Norah is not alone the MSU international program has helped thousands from Saudi Arabia adjust to the culture shocks.  

"MSU helped us to cross these barriers and to understand and live within the American culture,” said Mohammed Rafai Saudi Arabian Student

“Now I eat cheeseburgers, I do barbecues on Fourth of July and stuff like that trying to live the American experience."

Even the Saudi Arabian men in MSU international program are happy to announce the progress.  

"For myself, I was so happy I wanted to share this news with even my lab mates,” said  Mohammed Rafai Saudi Arabian Student.

“They said why is this that big of a deal? And I said this is been a long way and we finally got it.  It's a big deal back home this is a very big deal."

Mohammed Rafai says this is the first taste of freedom for Saudi Arabian women. 

"Saudi women have had a lot of issues we have back home now since they can drive that's the beginning of them getting their complete freedom to live to think to study to travel to wherever they want,” said Rafai.

A committee has been formed to implement the ruling and it will present recommendations within 30 days. Then the government will have until next June to implement the new decree.

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