SEOUL, South Korea — When Saudi Arabia lifted its ban on women drivers in June, Amjad Alamri didn't waste a minute becoming one of the first to get her license.
The 22-year-old figures she had already waited long enough.
Alamri says she had been driving illegally since age 13, with her long black hair tucked up inside a hat. Now she's part of a wave of female car drivers who may also be car buyers in the last country on Earth to allow women behind the wheel.
Yet, Alamri stands out for another reason in the conservative kingdom: She is also an ultra-rare female engineering student who aspires to someday design cars in the male- dominated auto industry. And preferably high-powered race cars, no less.
"They say it's a major for males, that I'll never find work," Alamri says. "But I don't care. I just want to study what I enjoy. I want to work as an engineer to improve vehicles."
Her ambitions — and her enthusiasm in talking openly about them — underscore dramatic shifts in a country long hidebound to tradition. Spearheading the revolution is Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who issued a royal decree allowing women to drive from June 24.