Israel/Palestine,  Sports,  Women's Rights

Speed Sisters

Guest post JS Rafaeli

Speed Sisters is a film telling the story of the Middle East’s first all-female motor racing team. Through sheer grit and skill, these five Palestinian women have excelled in a male-dominated sport, in the midst of a male-dominated society and a fraught political backdrop.

Despite restrictions on movement, the Palestinian Motor Sports and Motorcycle Federation has erected makeshift tracks in major cities across the West Bank. Cars can be seen racing against the clock on winding time trial courses on Arafat’s former helicopter pad in Bethlehem, in vegetable stalls of Jenin, on a tarmac in the 10,000 year old city of Jericho, and by a transit point and prison at the edges of Ramallah.

The races offer a release from the pressures of everyday life under military occupation. The spirited competition between cities brings spectators out in the thousands, lining rooftops and leaning over barricades to snap the best photos of the day and catch final times on the scoreboard.

These five determined women joined the ranks of dozens of male drivers — competing against each other for the title, for bragging rights for their hometown, and to prove that women can compete head on with men in Palestine and beyond.

Both intimate and action-filled, Speed Sisters captures the drive to follow your dreams against all odds, leaving in its trail shattered stereotypes about gender and the Arab world.

The filmmakers are running a crowd-funding campaign to help them finish the film. As the campaign is drawing to a close, please contribute to this fantastic, important project.

Share this article.