Female cyclists in Gaza

CNC
Added On February 26, 2016

Hamas ruled Gaza Strip is considered a strict conservative society.
 
In Gaza, mixtures of males and females in schools are prevented. For women, wearing tight clothing is also considered as something contradicts with the society's traditions.
 
However, four Gazan female cyclists ride their bicycles in a main street in the northern village of Beit Hanoun every day, with full confidence.  Lifestyle has the story.
 
The four have decided to do the sports for 20 minutes each day. They usually wear long-sleeve shirts, and covered their heads with hats and scarves for religious reasons.
 
The tight traditions in Gaza and the cultural restrictions have never prevented Amna Sleiman and her colleagues to practice cycling.
 
Sleiman is a 34-year-old English teacher at Gaza International American School.
 
She grew up in South Africa. She has been interested in riding bicycles since childhood. When she first came to settle in Gaza, she practiced the sports only indoors.
 
She told CNC that their behavior was a dream yesterday, but had become true and real today. 
 
The female teacher said that it was very difficult in the beginning as people were criticizing them.
 
They didn’t give up however, and insisted to ignore the criticism and carried on; until it has become normal for many people who agreed that they have done nothing wrong.
 
They insisted that it was part of women's rights and an attempt to defy the tight restrictions imposed on women in Gaza. They said that they also do it for fun. 
 
Sleiman told CNC that they are fully convinced that what they did was not contradicting with the tight conservative tradition of the Gaza Strip society.