Syrians Are Shattering Gender Stereotypes with this Wonderful Initiative
Syrians never fail to stand against all odds, showing their strength and ability to grow with all what’s going on. In the heart of Damascus, a youth initiative, called “Yalla Let’s Bike” or “Yalla A’al Bicyclette” as they call it in Arabic, was formed. The initiative aims to promote the culture of riding bicycles among Syrian youth, especially women.
The initiative, founded by Maan Al Himmeh, a University Professor, now includes more than 300 volunteers who gathered together for a set of common goals. The main aim is to break stereotypes and defy society’s constraints that entail that women shouldn’t be riding bicycles. In addition to reducing the amount of harassment in public transportation. “We are the change” is the slogan the initiative’s women keep on repeating over and over again. They really could make a change, only if they believe they can.
In addition to those aims, there’s the other set of economical and environmental aims. Riding a bike might require one to exert some effort, but it’s definitely worth it. It allows you to get to your destination without polluting the environment and without wasting your time in traffic. In fact, as you ride a bike instead of taking your car, the bus or a taxi, you’d be contributing to decreasing traffic. Not just that, but bikes cost much less than the fortune you spend on gas, that again pollutes the environment. Finally, bikes mean a much healthier and fitter version of yourself.
There are around 7,000 bicycles in Damascus that have license plates provided by the government, with only 1% of those are owned by women. Even the streets and infrastructure in the city are not bicycle-friendly. However, with some work and dedication, this could all change.