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Speed Sisters: Meet World’s 1st All-female Racing-car Driving Team

  • IWB Post
  •  June 22, 2015

Meet the world’s 1st all-female racing-car driving team, and they are from Palestine! Say hello to:

Maysoon Jayyusi, the team’s 38-year-old manager from Jerusalem, who says her love for racing-car driving came from the frustration of being stuck in the West Bank’s constant traffic jams and checkpoints.

Mona Ali, 29 yr old from Ramallah. She was one of the first female racers in Palestine.

Marah Zahalka, 23, who was a racing champion at 19.

Noor Dauod, 25 yr old from Jerusalem.

Betty Saadeh, 35. She is the only member who comes from a wealthy family of racers in Bethlehem.

These tough women are a part of Amber Fare’s documentary called ‘Speed Sisters’. It talks about the life of this female team and the stereotypes they’ve faced/are facing for being in a sport that is considered masculine.

Noor says: “I was racing cars when I was a kid, learning how to do it, speeding with the boys from school. At first, the boys wouldn’t accept me; they didn’t want to race with me. But I told them I’d carry on racing whether they liked it or not.”

But ‘peer non-acceptance’ wasn’t the only thing they have faced. Convincing the family was also a task for most of them. To add to all this, the girls talk about how difficult it becomes for them to arrange funds for the cars, continuous maintenance, repairs and training, etc.

Marah Zahalka tells how her grandfather thinks she shouldn’t have been encouraged to race. However, the rest of the family supports her and even delayed the purchase of a land for their home so that she could buy her dream car.

Living in a place where finding living-freedom seems unreal, these girls have proved it isn’t impossible!

Their Team manager Jayyusi says: “It’s true that, when we first started, people looked at us as though we’d just landed from space. But when they saw us race they changed their minds. Now we have fans, people who encourage us and sponsor us. You prove that you are strong enough, not scared, that you can compete with the men. And then it just becomes acceptable.”

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