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Take a Ride With these Egyptian Queens

On the congested streets of Cairo, Egypt’s capital city, rider Dina Wassef represents a rare sight. With a population of 104 million, Egypt is a conservative country where it is uncommon for women to be spotted on motorcycles. Wassef learned to ride bikes in 2008, challenging the trend in the North African country that excluded women from doing certain things like publicly riding motorcycles and bicycles. She was among the first women in Egypt to publicly ride a motorbike, according to a report in the Women of Egypt Mag. The 35-year-old told CNN that her inspiration to get a motorcycle was as a result of landing a sales job with Harley-Davidson, an American-owned motorcycle manufacturer. But compared to when Wassef first started riding bikes, there are now more women riders on the streets of Egypt, and groups teaching and encouraging them to ride various kinds of motorbikes. Let’s Scoot, a scooter movement for women in Alexandria, was created in 2014 and is teaching them to ride motor scooters. A motor scooter is like a regular motorcycle but with smaller wheels and engine. Similarly, the Egyptian Women Riders club, which Wassef is a part of, is an all-female motorcycle club that encourages women across the country to take trips on motorcycles. Maggie Mamdouh, a scooter training instructor based in Cairo, says one of the primary reasons women are now hitting the roads with motorcycles and scooters is to manage the city’s chaotic traffic.