First Female Formula Race Car Driver, Reema Juffali, Wears Her Custom-made Saudi Arabian Helmet
Reema Juffali from Saudi Arabia is officially the first female professional Formula race car driver, and boy is she making history. Born in Jeddah, the 29 year-old defies gender stereotypes and social norms in Saudi Arabia. While other girls play dress up and do ballet, Reema’s passion for cars grew and grew as a young girl. At a young age, she lived in Boston to study, and while driving was illegal at that time for women in Saudi Arabia, she fell in love with driving in Boston, specifically with Formula 1. With friends and family doubting such a decision, and with their fears about her choice for a career in racing, Reema persevered and believed in her true calling, and pursued a professional career in motorsports.
“It’s amazing to be able to compete in a sport where the gender barriers are still evident, but when you’re on track it doesn’t really matter.”said Reema Juffali
Although she studied international affairs in Boston and worked in finance after graduation, her interest since childhood in cars and sports was evident. Juffali started competing in the Formula 4 category, and her professionalism is seemingly unmatchable. With no care in the world if she’s racing a man or woman, all Juffali wants to do is be ahead of them. “I want to win,” Juffali said.
Reema’s heritage plays a huge role in her life, as not only is she the first Saudi Arabian female Formula racer, but also the first ever Saudi Arabian woman to hold a racing license. A true inspiration for all young women from the Kingdom who wish to follow in her footsteps or their own dreams.
“It’s a privilege to be able to do what I’m doing, racing, and racing under the Saudi flag,” Reema said. “It’s a humbling experience representing my country by being the first, and alhamdulillah (praise God), I’m pursuing my passion and doing what I love.”
Reema will compete in one of the best tracks of motorsports. Additionally, she will be honoring her Saudi Arabian heritage by wearing a personalized helmet. Juffali said that she is excited about wearing the helmet, as it represents a bit of herself, as well as a bit of Saudi Arabia. The green and orange represent the desert of the Kingdom, while the logo of the theeba is a she-wolf, a term her friends gave to her at a young age. Ultimately, the helmet serves as an authentic representation of herself, and her origin in the motorsport world!