Palestinian Women Racing Cars in the West Bank

They call themselves the Speed Sisters. Eight young Palestinian women in the West bank town of Ramallah racing cars.

It's not what you expect in what remains a male-dominated and traditional society. But things are changing in parts of Palestine, and nowhere more so than on the makeshift dusty race track on the outskirts of Ramallah where the Speed Sisters strut their stuff.

"I love sports that are tough and dangerous, because I am a dangerous woman," boasted 20-year-old Nour Dawood, interviewed recently by the Associated Press. She wore a bright yellow and black race suit, fashionable dark glasses and helmet as she leaned against her car.

The Ramallah race scene kicked off five years ago. Then only one woman participated, but thanks to some funding and special training from the British Consulate in Arab East Jerusalem more and more women are getting involved.

With the British money came an expert driving instructor and expertise to repair a beaten up old car which the Speed Sisters now share.

With two races remaining in this year's five race series the women have failed to break into the top 10. But veteran racer 39-year-old Suna Awedia says a little more training and some extra sponsorship will bridge the gap with their male competitors.

The Speed Sisters' participation in the series is part of a wider trend in the West Bank. This year the first-ever female regional governor was appointed, and there are now four women sitting in the Palestinian Authority cabinet.

For Nour Dawood it's not about winning races, it's about taking part, "Look at us. We are really into it. We are one team. And we are all winners," she said.

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