Ashwaq Al-Shamri, a female Saudi student, is a hero. Despite Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving, she took the wheel and actually saved someones life.
Shamri was honored this week, along with some of her colleagues, for saving the life of their bus driver, the Saudi Gazette reported. On a recent and routine trip home from Al-Ghazzalah branch of Hail University, Shamri's driving skills suddenly became the difference between life and death.
A private bus had been hired to transport the girls, as is the norm in Saudi Arabia. But then, the bus driver fainted while driving.
Shamri and her fellow students quickly performed first aid on the driver. And then, Shamri took the wheel of the bus.
She drove the driver and the rest of the girls to the hospital, where he was able to receive the vital treatment he needed to recover.
Dr. Hanan Al-Amir, the General Supervisor of the women's section at the university, credited the young women's actions for saving the driver's life. She commended their bravery and humanitarian spirit.
"The university is keen in providing intensive training to students in carrying out emergency services and first aid. The girl students won accolades from the entire university staff and students as well as the community members," she said, according to Khaleej Times.
For their part, Shamri and the other female students said they were just doing what was necessary. They simply fulfilled their humanitarian duty.
Shamri's actions are particularly significant as Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive. Women have significantly less legal rights than men in the traditional kingdom, but things have been changing rapidly in the last few years.
In 2015, Saudi women registered to vote and participated in municipal elections for the first time in recent history. A new decree issued by King Salman this month also suggest the male guardianship system, which has governed women's lives, will be coming to an end soon.
Although women are still not allowed to drive, prominent voices in the kingdom have argued this should change.
In an open letter titled released in November, billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal emphasized the importance of progress in today's world, saying it's "high time that Saudi women started driving their cars."
Perhaps Shamri's story stands as evidence to support the prince's position?