In a patriarchal world, women continue to get more recognition, excelling in all fields. Throughout the Western world, the fight against the patriarchy is active, whilst in the Middle East, the pace is a little slower, but still moving. And yet, it’s become more common to have women landing positions of power and on magazine covers, be it for art, business, science, politics, education, and sports!
As a tribute to all Arab women chasing after their passions and excelling in it, below are seven Arab women in motorsports who continue to pave the way for all younger women who share the same love for the roar of the engine!
Aseel Al Hamad
Aseel Al Hamad is a Saudi Arabian motorsports enthusiast. She’s also a businesswoman, an engineer, and an interior designer. In addition to this, she’s officially the first woman on the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation’s board members. The day Saudi Arabia lifted the ban for women to drive, Al Hammad drove a Formula One car at the FrenchGP. She had never raced in her country before, but on that day, she took a drive in a Jaguar F-TYPE.
Amna Al Qubaisi
Al Qubaisi is 21-years-old, and she’s already the first female Emirati race car driver. She holds other records to her name as well, including the first to participate in motorsports with Daman Speed Academy, and the first female Arab to be in the RMC World Finals. Al Qubaisi has also taken the test program for Formula E.
This 29-year-old Saudi Arabian is officially the first professional female Formula race car driver. She’s had a growing love for cars and for racing ever since childhood. Juffali is also the first Saudi Arabian woman to have a racing license in the Kingdom. She dreams one day to to race the Le Mans, the world’s oldest active enduring racing competition held in France.
Zahalka hails from Palestine, and her passion for racing has been burning in her since she was 17-years-old, with her father being her biggest fan and supporter, rooting her all the way! She’s the youngest Speed Sister, the first all-women race car drive team from the Middle East, and is named the fastest woman in Palestine!
Another Palestinian racer on the map, Noor Daoud was a street racer, and is also a member of the Speed Sisters team. As a young woman, she’s tried various sports, but none of them felt right to her. That wasn’t until she discovered racing and fell in love with cars. However, something was still off, and in 2011, she found her true calling and went into drifting, making her the only female drifter throughout the Middle East!
This Saudi Arabian biker is on the frontline of changes taking place within the Kingdom. When Akeel won the World Cup for the T3 Desert Baja Rally, she became the first Arab woman to win this title. Her accomplishments include being the first Saudi woman to get a Speed Bikes Competition license, and she will be the first female Saudi to participate in the Dakar Rally in 2022!
A mother, a rally driver, and an IT specialist, Shalaby has landed many prizes in racing. She’s currently Egypt’s only female rally driver and desert-racing driver, and is the first Egyptian woman to race at the Pharaohs Rally. Shalaby never received any funding or training, and as a way of making this available for others, she hopes to create a racing school for females only!