|Manal al-Sharif Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 5 in|
|Date of Birth||April 25, 1979|
|Eye Color||Dark Brown|
Manal al-Sharif is a Saudi women’s rights activist and computer scientist who has been campaigning for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia for several years. In 2011, she became instrumental in kickstarting a right-to-drive campaign and activist and writer Wajeha al-Huwaider filmed her drive a car as part of the campaign.
Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Manal al-Sharif enrolled at King Abdulaziz University (KAU), a public research university located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in computing and a Cisco Career Certification.
Women’s Rights Activist, Computer Scientist
5 ft 5 in or 165 cm
56 kg or 123.5 lbs
Boyfriend / Spouse
Manal al-Sharif has dated –
- She married her first husband in Saudi Arabia and their son was born in the year 2005. The couple eventually got divorced and her ex-husband retained full legal custody of their child in accordance with the Saudi divorce rules. After her first marriage ended, Manal al-Sharif relocated to Dubai but was forced to travel back to Saudi Arabia when she wanted to see her son as her ex-husband refused to let the child travel. Subsequently, she went to court to contest the travel restriction imposed by her ex-husband on their son but the court refused and went on to cite a 10th-century Islamic text that addressed the “risk of the child dying en route on such a dangerous distance.”
- Rafael (2012-Present) – In 2012, Manal al-Sharif got married to her 2nd husband Rafael and they were blessed with a son in 2014.
Race / Ethnicity
She considers herself a liberal Muslim.
It has been reported that she is observant in most Islamic practices such as Halal and praying five to six times a day. Also, when she decided to marry her Brazilian husband, she required him to convert to Islam in accordance with Islamic law in order to marry her and he also recited the Shahada at a mosque in Brazil in order to formally convert to Islam. He also took a Muslim name.
Manal al-Sharif Facts
- She was named one of the “Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2011” by Foreign Policy magazine.
- Noting the 2011 women driving campaign, Amnesty International stated that “Manal al-Sharif is following in a long tradition of women activists around the world who have put themselves on the line to expose and challenge discriminatory laws and policies”.
- She was included in Forbes‘ list of “Women Who (Briefly) Rocked” in 2011.
- It was incorrectly reported on January 23, 2012, that Manal al-Sharif had died in a car crash in Jeddah. It was later confirmed by The Guardian on January 25, 2012, that she was alive and that the car crash victim was an “unnamed member of a desert community” and not someone who was involved in the female driving campaign.
- Manal al-Sharif was named as one of the “Fearless Women” of the year by The Daily Beast in 2012 and as one of the “100 Most Influential People of 2012” by Time magazine.
- She was employed as an Information Security Consultant for Saudi Aramco, the Saudi national oil company, till May 2012.
- She has achieved the feat of becoming one of three people awarded the first annual Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent at the Oslo Freedom Forum.
- In June 2017, Manal al-Sharif’s first book titled Daring to Drive: a Saudi Woman’s Awakening was published by Simon & Schuster.
- The New York Times has noted that al-Sharif “has a reputation for drawing attention to the lack of rights for women”.
- Manal al-Sharif has written for a Saudi daily named Alhayat.
- She is well-versed in English and has spent her time living in both New Hampshire in the United States as well as in Australia.
Featured Image by Manal al-Shraif / Wikimedia Foundation / CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED