Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (Reuters)-When Amirah al-
The Turks left Boston in 2015 after getting a graduate degree, and friends laughed at her decision to ship her beloved pistachio --
Back to the colorful bikes of Saudi Arabia.
"They told me, in Jeddah, what would you do with it and hang it on the wall?
She smiled, referring to her hometown on the Red Sea coast.
In this extremely conservative Muslim kingdom, it is unthinkable to ride a horse in a public place, where religious police patrol the public space, perform moderate dress, ban music and alcohol, pray --
Time shop closed and mixed with unrelated men and women.
Fast forward for three years, Amila often rides alone or with her husband and children on the coastal drive by the sea.
On the bike, 30-year-
Old abaya, loose-fitting, full-
Robes are a symbol of religious beliefs and Saudi women still need public clothing.
But instead of choosing the traditional black, she picked it out from a series of pastel colours she designed herself, dotted with lace and vibrant colors.
"Today's Jeddah is not the same as five or six years ago," she said . ".
"Examination of clothes (has eased)
There are more places to go, and women have the same job opportunities as men.
For decades, Saudi Arabia appears to have been irretrievably stuck in the past, but is now changing day by day.
Under a reform plan aimed at modernizing the kingdom and freeing its economy from oil, 32-year-
The old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman relaxed social restrictions, cut the wings of the religious police, sponsored public concerts and ended nearly 40
Commercial theaters are prohibited.
The government has also announced plans to allow women to drive cars starting this summer, and Amirah is eager to hit the road.
"I don't want to drive just because I want to drive," she said . ". “It’s a need.
"The mother of two children has a complete
Teach part-time jobs and part-time freelancers in graphic design at Jeddah International College.
Selling her homemade abayas brought her satisfaction and a little extra income.
Proficient in English, Arabic and Turkish and trained in ballet amirah is part of the younger generation of women in Saudi Arabia who have seized new opportunities, although the guardianship system still requires women to be approved by male relatives, to make certain key decisions, such as traveling abroad.
In her spare time, she does yoga and training in the cross studio.
However, she realized that not all women had the same opportunities in this country with a population of 32 million.
Tribal customs, domineering male relatives and lingering religious conservatism prevented many Saudi women from acquiring basic rights. “She can be (modern)
But not her family.
She can do this, but her husband is not allowed to do so, "said Amila, who believes some people are still opposed to new reforms.
"It's true, but I'm talking about something very small," she said . ".
"I don't know other places, other cities.
I'm talking about Jeddah.
"Please see the related photo article for: reut.