RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Sitting in a modern living room surrounded by family photographs and knickknacks, Haifa al-Hababi does not look or act like a trailblazer.
As the first female to register as a candidate in the history of Saudi Arabian elections, the 37-year-old architect, professor and newspaper columnist is breaking the rules. She campaigned with her face uncovered and regularly dons bright colors — rare in a country where most women favor black, neck-to-feet abayas in public.
“Things are changing here,” al-Hababi said when asked if she has faced any criticism for campaigning unveiled. “Women’s roles have changed whereby they don’t. . .