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Suha Hussein is the first Palestinian woman to get a motorcycle license
25 February 2018

Nisaa FM - - It has always sought to break a tradition of society, which made motorbike driving exclusive to men, and succeeded in its quest as the first woman to drive a classic motorcycle. Palestinian Suha Hussein, who is working hard to convey a message that women as men are able to do anything.

 

Suha, 34, from Ramallah, has a bachelor's degree in radio and television, worked for BBC News and finally got an open license to drive motorcycles in Palestine.

”I was involved in a hiking group in the rugged mountains called Shatah. Two years later, I joined the mountain sports team, and I was the only girl to share with them. My fellow men in the team saw the purchase of motorcycles, and calculated this coup, because we were riding bicycles weekly as a sport that helps to discharge the negative energy. But after buying motorcycles I found myself alone among them and dragged out the squadron, and I also felt that this was not enough because driving a motorcycle was a lot of challenge, an adventure I deserved to go through, but I never thought of getting the first girl to get a motorcycle license in Palestine.

One day, my fellow motorcyclists asked me to get a driver's license like them, and then I never thought about it," Suha said. “But since I love adventures, I decided to get a motorcycle driving license, and I had what I wanted. Then I went to a coach to teach me the origins of leadership. At the first lesson I received, the coach asked me, "Why would you like to learn to drive a motorcycle?" I asked him, "Why not, if I could?" After touching my insistence on learning, he taught me how to drive between pedestrians.

I was sweaty in the first two sessions of training, because I was wearing a jacket with a protective element in my back, and I put a helmet so tightly closed that nobody knew me. In other exercises, the coach was sitting behind me. It was strange for me, the Eastern girl, to keep my customs and traditions, in addition to my fear of a human being who shared a bike ride

After the coach confirmed my ability to control the motorcycle on my own, he asked me to pull it out so that I could feel heavy. It was difficult for me, and I could not lift the bike if it fell on the ground because of its size," Suha said. 'The coach was proud of me and supported me. He stood at each training car and said, "Look at this girl, she's worth ten men”. But people they were surprised, and ranged from the comments between fear and positive.

At that time, I was working on BBC News and my time between my work and the continuing training. I never went out to get driving lessons," Suha said of her work and training schedules.
 

“I was jealous in the eyes of some young men looking at me, and the bitterness that drives them to ask a permanent question: how can a girl do what she can?" She said. “We are incapable of youth! But in my opinion it is a positive jealousy.

They were at home and I told them suddenly that I wanted to buy a motorcycle, because all my friends were using motorcycles, so I got a driver's license," Suha said. "There were signs of fear on my face; my mother and my brother were talking about me. The great number of deaths resulting from the collision of motorcycles in Palestine; I was surprised and convinced them the usefulness of my idea, and the need to look at it positively.

Because my family members are religious, I asked them to be wise and trust in God, and I assured them that I got the driver's license after hard work, and I always wear clothes for this type of sport.

 

I actually bought the motorcycle and kept it at my friend so I could tell my parents the truth, and I have to get used to it because it is still new, and I'm afraid of it coming and going," she said. “I buy something important and record it in my name.

I am at my age to take my own decisions, and my bike allows me to taste the freedom of a country whose people are under political and social pressure. I love driving my car, and most people may not want what I did," she said. “But if I'm convinced of something, I will do it. I went to two exams, the first of which was my work and I underwent it last year, and all the girls who wanted to get a driver's license were exceptional. I wanted to get a motorcycle driver license. I was afraid of failure and I was under pressure. Psychologically because I'm a girl and I refuse to say young men say: "She failed because she is a girl." It was one of the hardest days of my life, so I asked to be the first girl to take the exam. I was successful the first time and I got the CC driver license. The second exam coincided with my birthday and I got an open driver's license”.

She participated in international races. "I participated in my motorcycle at the rally in Jordan, and all participants had huge motorcycles, and I was very excited," Suha said. "I felt like I was flying wings. We traveled thousands of kilometers, and did not exceed the speed of the 210. But what frightens me most is that a car, birds, a dog or a cat will suddenly intercept me”.

 

”When I went to buy a Korean classic motorcycle from the Palestinian company, everyone was surprised that I was not joking, but after they touched my grandfather, they asked me to turn on the engine until they were sure of my ability," Suha said. “Receiving positive comments ... as well as some negative criticism, do not make me stop,  because it does not concern me and will not deter me from my will.

 

On another occasion, on one of our tours in the West Bank, we stopped at a petrol station where a young man worked. He wanted to take a photo with me. He went to the person in charge and asked him if he was allowed to do so. He said to him: "... the more I remember this incident, the more I laugh from the bottom of my heart”.

 

“The societal view is always different from the strange phenomena, but what about the case of Suha and she has the ability to convince others of the usefulness of her ideas?” So she said: "This kind of sport is available and it is not a monopoly on men, but after I managed to drive the motorcycle I insisted on getting a license to feel that women are capable of doing so. I represented Palestine in Jordan and encourage all girls to take this experience”. 

 

Asked if age was an obstacle to this sport, Suha said: "Age cannot stand in the way of any goal I want to achieve. I do not see that I was late in buying the motorcycle. I also met a Jordanian woman who learned to drive a motorcycle. At the age of 49 ... Personally, I do not wait for the support of anyone, either materially or morally. In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that my family has all the credit for what I am today”.