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Tuesday / August 1.
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Saudi women show some leg in solidarity with arrested model

saudi legs

By TAREK ABBAS

Women and girls in Saudi Arabia are posing photos of their naked legs in solidarity with  the model Khulood, who was arrested and released without charges after  she appeared on a widely distributed Snap Chat video wearing a short skirt.  Below is the original video that went viral around the world:

Khulood appeared in the video wearing a skirt that ends just above her knees and a short sleeved black shirt, and she is mostly filmed from behind but at one point turns to the camera, showing her face with  large sunglasses. She was subsequently arrested.

Women began  posting  photos of their naked legs on Twitter in solidarity with Khulood,  encouraged on social media by Saudi males  as well, who tweeted questions about the reason that she arrested for.

“I thought she had bombed or killed somebody. The story turned out to be about her skirt” the writer Wael AlGassim wrote.

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Saudi women still cannot legally drive their own cars or be seen in a company with a man whom  they are not related to,  according to the Kingdom’s Islamic laws.  Recently, however,  the Saudi government decided to district the authority of Islamic police in the Kingdom, and they no longer be able to arrest people. Protests over the driving law are now widespread.

saudi women protester

Saudi woman protesting driving laws.

In the Saudi Kingdom  women still have to cover their hair in public, although the law is not enforced for foreigners, and  female world leaders who have visited the area have shunned head scarves. They include former First Lady of the US, Michelle Obama, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, and  Melania and Ivanka Trump.

Under  “Shariah” law, women must also wear full clothing that  covers their bodies, except  for the face and hands. In some places they also must cover their faces with “Neqap” and wear gloves in the public places.

People upset by the Snapchat video  asked the police to track “Khulood” and arrest her.

saudi women protesters

Social media shows Saudi women protesting the driving restrictions.

But the video had already gone viral, reaching most Arab countries where some women decided to protest by posting photos of their own naked legs, and asking the  Saudi government to give  more freedom to women.

Others rejected the naked legs photo campaign, considering it an attack on Islam from non-Saudi women. They say they are defending the rights of divorced and poor women instead of  nakedness.

Either way,  the conflict demonstrates that  women’s hair, legs, and car driving are still an explosive issue in this part of the world and that Saudi Arabia exceeds every country, including Iran, in its repression of women.

Written by

An Egyptian journalist, living in Cairo,  I have worked for many newspapers and websites, in addition to tv channel. You can reach me atTarekmedia2008@hotmail.com.

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