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A Saudi woman got a speeding ticket…so what?

A message to Saudi Gazette and Emirates 24/7, there are other Saudi women that drive abroad and don't drive like Maha Makki.


November 20, 2011 3:44 by

A slow news day can be a curse to any daily journalist. There’s that fine line that’s so easy to cross on such a day, where the inane suddenly looks like it’s newsworthy. And looks like our pals at Emirates 24/7 and Saudi Gazette have just crossed that line.

Both titles ran a story on a Saudi businesswoman who had apparently been fined for speeding and jumping red lights on the streets of Dubai.

Far be it for Kipp to belittle any traffic offense. In fact, we are glad to see that the Dubai Traffic Police has penalised Maha Makki for her transgressions. And if it were up to us, we would have fined her for such a lame excuse for the traffic offenses as well. “speeding a little bit” and “did not realise I jumped the red light”? The traffic signals transition pretty reasonably in Dubai and we suspect this is not the first time businesswoman Makki has driven these streets.

But what we do find it odd is the singling out of Makki as a story. Dubai is a second home to a number of Saudi families, who have daughters who drive on Dubai’s streets regularly–some of them good, some of them bad just like any other nationality.

So why make a point to write about Makki’s offenses? Unintentionally or not, she’s become a kind of poster child now for the issue of Saudi women not being able to drive in their own country even though her actions do not reflect the driving ability of the majority of Saudi women drivers at all.

Saudi-based blog, Susie’s Big Adventure, underlines this paltry story coverage, as well, and hits similar chords.

Kipp can only hope for media titles (the same goes for Kipp, as well) that we buckle down on sensationalism, slow news day or not.


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