Vogue Arabia celebrates Saudi women finally being given the right to drive with feminist cover

Vogue Arabia’s June issue [Photo: Vogue]
Vogue Arabia’s June issue [Photo: Vogue]

Vogue Arabia has released a history-making cover in celebration of Saudi Arabia’s revolutionary law which finally gives women the right to drive.

Princess Hayfa bint Abdullah Al Saud is photographed on the front of the June issue behind the wheel of a convertible and its pages boast interviews with everyone from female politicians to football players.

The cover – shot by Irish fashion photographer Boo George – is Her Royal Highness’s debut photoshoot for a major magazine.

“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

A post shared by Vogue Arabia (@voguearabia) on May 30, 2018 at 12:00am PDT

For the collector’s issue, she is pictured in the Jeddah desert clad in traditional robes with a matching headscarf. But in an image which symbolises a step towards gender equality, the princess is also photographed wearing driving gloves.

“In our country, there are some conservatives who fear change,” she said in the magazine interview. “For many, it’s all they have known. Personally, I support these changes with great enthusiasm. It is easy to comment on other people’s societies and think that your own society is superior, but the Western world must remember that each country is specific and unique.”

She added: “We have strengths and weaknesses but, invariably, it’s our culture, and it’s better to try to understand it than to judge it.”

In the past, women have not been permitted to hold a driver’s license and would undoubtedly be arrested if caught behind the wheel. In a bid to shed its patriarchal image, Prince Khaled bin Salman announced back in September 2017 that the ban on female drivers would finally be lifted on June 24.

On the landmark cover, editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut, said: “Knowing that such extraordinary women are taking part in crafting the future of the Arab world makes me look forward to the exciting times ahead.”

But the lift on the driving ban isn’t the only way in which Saudi Arabia has progressed, as it called for an end to the ban on cinemas back in April with a debut showing of ‘Black Panther’.

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