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Women's rights in Saudi Arabia: 'I escaped to seek a better life'

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Salwa, 24, ran clear of her circle of relatives 8 months in the past and claimed asylum in Canada

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It is a dramatic tale that has introduced the limitations confronted by way of ladies in Saudi Arabia again into the highlight.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, garnered international consideration final week after she locked herself into her lodge room and refused to fly again house.

She was once fleeing her circle of relatives in Saudi Arabia and, after instigating a high-profile Twitter marketing campaign, was once granted asylum in Canada.

As the talk about ladies’s rights within the nation continues, some other younger lady who fled Saudi Arabia for Canada has instructed her tale to the BBC.

Salwa, 24, ran away along with her 19-year-old sister 8 months in the past and now lives in Montreal. This, in her personal phrases, is her tale.

The preparation

We have been making plans to depart for kind of six years, however we wanted a passport and a countrywide ID card to take action.

I wished the consent of my mother or father to get those paperwork. (Girls in Saudi Arabia are required to procure a male family member’s approval for lots of issues).

Thankfully, I had a countrywide ID card already as a result of my circle of relatives agreed to offer me one whilst I used to be learning at college.

I additionally had a passport as a result of I wished one to take a seat an English language examination two years in the past.

However my circle of relatives took it clear of me. By hook or by crook, I had to get it again.

I stole the keys to my brother’s space after which went to the shop to get a replica of them lower. I could not go away the home with out their consent, however I sneaked out whilst they had been drowsing.

It was once very dangerous as a result of if I have been stuck then they might have harm me.

When I had the keys I controlled to pay money for my passport, my sister’s passport, and I additionally took my father’s telephone whilst he was once drowsing.

The usage of this, I logged into his account at the inner ministry’s website online and adjusted his registered telephone quantity to my quantity.

I extensively utilized his account to offer us each consent to depart the rustic.

The get away

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The pair ran clear of house and flew to Germany from King Khalid World Airport

We left at evening whilst everybody was once drowsing. It was once very, very, aggravating.

We will be able to’t power so we known as a taxi. Thankfully, virtually the entire taxi drivers in Saudi Arabia are from overseas international locations so they did not view us travelling on my own as peculiar.

We headed for King Khalid World Airport close to Riyadh. If any individual had spotted what we had been doing then I feel we might had been killed.

For the final 12 months of my schooling I used to be operating in a health center and stored up sufficient cash to shop for the airplane tickets and a transit visa for Germany. I additionally had cash from unemployment advantages that I had stored.

I controlled to board the flight to Germany with my sister. It was once the primary time I had ever been on a airplane and it was once superb. I felt glad, I felt anxious, I felt the entirety.

My father known as the police when he realised we were not at house, however by way of that point it was once too past due.

As a result of I had modified the telephone quantity on his inner ministry account, when the government attempted to name him they in truth known as me.

Once I landed, I would even won a message from the police that was once supposed for my father.

The coming

There is no lifestyles in Saudi Arabia. I simply went to the college then moved again house and did not anything all day.

They harm me, and instructed me unhealthy such things as males are awesome. I used to be compelled to hope and rapid at Ramadan as smartly.

Once I arrived in Germany I went to prison help to discover a legal professional for my asylum declare. I crammed out some paperwork and instructed them my tale.

I selected Canada as it has an excellent recognition for human rights. I adopted the scoop in regards to the Syrian refugees being resettled there and determined it was once the most productive position for me.

My declare was once permitted, and after I landed in Toronto I noticed the Canadian flag on the airport and simply felt this superb sense of feat.

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I am in Montreal lately with my sister and there is no rigidity. No person forces me to do anything else right here.

They may have more cash in Saudi Arabia however right here it is higher as a result of after I need to go away my rental I will be able to simply go away. I don’t want consent. I simply cross outdoor.

It makes me really feel in point of fact, in point of fact, glad. I think like I’m unfastened. I simply put on what I need to put on.

I really like the colors within the autumn and the snow right here. I am finding out French however it is so tough! I am additionally finding out to trip a bicycle and I am seeking to learn to swim and ice skate.

I think like I am in truth doing one thing with my lifestyles.

I shouldn’t have any touch with my circle of relatives, however I feel that is excellent for me and for them. I think like that is my house now. It is higher right here.

As instructed to the BBC’s Gareth Evans and Out of doors Supply on International Carrier radio.

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