RAMALLAH – As part of a recently developing trend of motor racing in the Palestinian Authority, 16 women gathered Sunday on an improvised racetrack in the West Bank in order to be drilled in the art of car racing by British professionals.
The young women, mainly in their 20s, were excited by the opportunity of being coached by the female race car drivers.
The line of vehicles, which passed through Ramallah, won praise from many who witnessed it, and women's rights were temporarily forgotten.
Female racecar driving, recently appropriated in the West Bank, has come under the supervision of the Palestinian Motor Sport and Motorcycle Federation as well as the British Consulate, which is now sponsoring women's races.
Fadi Adeeb, of the consulate, said it had adopted motor sports in order to modernize the image of the Palestinian woman. "These are not just women of kitchens and children but women who have interests just like any other woman," he explained.
"We were especially proud to see a woman wearing a headscarf on the training track, because she was departing from convention. As part of the preparations for the London Olympics in 2012, we plan to assist in this field."
Adeeb added that the number of female competitors had so far risen from five to eight, and eight additional women arrived on Saturday asking to join the project. "It's a very encouraging sign," he said.