I have a healthy obsession with cars and motor racing.
At age seven, like many children, I owned dozens of die cast cars that I’d line up on imaginary starting lines almost every evening before pushing them through championship races and subsequent demolition derbies.
At age ten, I began to arrange the cars into virtual parking lots so as to practice parallel parking for my future driving exam.
At age fourteen, I abandoned Hot Wheels and went for Jada Toys’ new Import Racer line-up which featured larger car bodies, rubber wheels, realistic headlights and taillights, custom body kits, and an overall greater level of sophistication.
At age fifteen, I made the foolish mistake of bringing a car to high school where, after meeting Michelle, it went flying into a wall.
At age seventeen, inspired by the unique paint jobs of the world’s fastest cars, I foolishly chose to spray paint the rear spoiler of my white Nissan black.
Also at age seventeen, I came to accept the fact that my car was now both slow and ugly.
At age twenty, things began looking up when I learned that motor racing and car enthusiasm had a place in Palestine, and that it was breaking through gender and social barriers.
Meet the Speed Sisters, a collective of West Bank-based Christian and Muslim women representing Palestine in the Arab race scene. According to Al Arabiya, Speed Sisters is the first all-female team competing in the Middle East. The team first made headlines in the summer of 2010 when Suna Aweidah and her team’s Palestine-themed BMW debuted in a Ramallah race.
This is tremendously nice to see — not just because it involves speeding cars, not just because it challenges the global issue of gender inequity, but also because it shows that even under occupation and duress, the Palestinian people have not given up their hope to experience all that life has to offer.