Saudi Arabia on Monday took milestone decision to allow women drive cars. This brings to SUDANOW sweet memories of the late Sudanese lady Amna Attya, who received, almost a whooping three quarters of a century ago, her driving license.
In 1945 Amna was the first Sudanese lady to receive a driving license, making history in the country and the region at large- quite possible ahead of many a country including in the western hemisphere.
Late Attya was born in Karkouj city, Sinnar State, in 1928 and graduated in Omdurman Teachers College. She managed to inaugurate several basic schools in Gazeera State of central Sudan. Crisscrossing those areas on animal back wasn’t practical, nor prestigious if you want to promote girls education in central Sudan in particular. Thus the colonial authorities did not see any harm to allow her being trained by spouse of the then British Governor-General of Sudan. Having received proper training and duly receiving the certificate attesting to her mastery of the then new art, the government gave her car (Morris) for what come to be known as visitations to the schools in Gazeera.
She was also the first Sudanese woman to receive a license for using a firearm (1946), for personal use and protection during her travels.
After she was transferred to Khartoum, Mogran area, she came to be one of only three VIP in the capital Khartoum with cars. The other two were owned by the British Governor-General and Ansar religious sect spiritual leader, Abdul Rahman al-Mahdi, grandfather of the former prime minister, Sadiq al-Mahdi.
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