Saudi artist's driving ban song is huge YouTube hit

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A Saudi artist's satirical song about the Gulf kingdom's ban on female drivers has gone viral on the video website YouTube.

A Bob Marley-inspired “No woman, no drive” song criticising the ban, has attracted more than 1.1 million hits in 24 hours.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

"Hello, my name is Hisham Fageeh. I'm an artist and social activist. I don't really listen to music, but while studying in the US I heard this song by this Jamaican guy that caught my attention,” Fageeh said in his video posted on YouTube by Alaa Wardi.

“I decided to do my own rendition with lyrics relevant to my culture, but without musical instruments. And now, with the help of some of my talented friends, I sing.”

The video was posted on the same day that a few women filmed themselves driving in Saudi cities, defying government warnings of arrest and prosecution to take part in a campaign against men-only road rules.

But some others stayed at home, put off by phone calls from men who said they were from the Interior Ministry, reported organisers of the demonstration against an effective ban on women drivers.

Police put up checkpoints in some parts of Riyadh, Reuters witnesses said, and there appeared to be more traffic patrols than usual on the streets of the capital - the latest sign of the sensitivity of the issue in the ultra-conservative Islamic kingdom.

Five videos were published on the campaign's YouTube feed and Twitter on Saturday morning, dated Oct. 26 and purporting to show women driving in Riyadh, the oasis region of al-Ahsa and the city of Jeddah.

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