(MENAFN - Arab News) The issue of Saudi women driving surfaced again following revelations by the president of the Saudi Students' Club in Flint, Michigan, that they have contacted a US company to teach Saudi female students to learn how to drive.
Abdul Rahman Khalaf Al-Shammari said his club decided to teach female students to solve their transportation problem, adding that they have spent a lot of money on taxis.
"We have set some conditions for training Saudi female students. The company should appoint only women to train our girls," Al-Shammari said, adding that Saudi girls wanted to safeguard their customs and traditions.
He said other Saudi students clubs in the rest of the United States were also planning to teach Saudi female students driving.
"The girls will be taken to and from the driving school by women staff of the company," Al-Shammari said, adding that the move would solve female students' transport problem to a great extent.
Saudi girls have found taxis and public buses unsafe and uncomfortable for them, he said. Al-Shammari's club has published a booklet providing various information required by Saudi students while living in the US.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Ambassador to Washington, Adel Al-Jubeir said statistics issued by the US Department for Homeland Security indicated that problems created by Saudis in the country were much less than those caused by other nationals.
The ambassador disclosed plans to establish a Saudi consulate in Chicago to meet the needs of Saudi students and businessmen. He said the number of Saudis studying in the US has risen from 7,000 to 90,000 during the past seven years.
"The total number of annual Saudi visitors to the US has also jumped from 25,000 to more than 100,000 during the same period," he said.
"Extension of Saudis' visas in the US to five years was one of the main reasons for the increase in the number of visitors," Al-Jubeir said.