middle east


Meet the Female Drift Racers of Palestine

Learn what drives the Speed Sisters to compete as the only female drift racing team of the West Bank.

As a woman, drift racing in a conservative society like the West Bank of Palestine isn’t easy. Many people judge the Speed Sisters for wanting to do something other than get married, have children, and take care of domestic responsibilities. Living in an occupied territory makes it even more difficult. But racing helps these women deal with their anger towards the many forces trying to keep them down. It might be difficult but they’re going to continue to racing no matter what.

Singing in the Shah Mosque in Isfahan, Iran

The acoustics  in the 400 year old mosque are amazing & notes hang in the air with crystal clarity. The singer is a student from northern Iran visiting Isfahan & had always wanted to sing in the mosque because of its unique acoustic resonance qualities. You have to stand on the tiled square for perfect effect.

—  Mahrokh, literally “moon-face”. A Persian name chiefly for girls. The moon is associated as one of the highest levels of beauty in Persian culture. To be named this is to be called the silent beauty of a full moon on a clear night.

Manal al-Sharif (b. 1979) is the woman responsible for the campaign aimed at giving women the right to drive in Saudi Arabia. To initiate this movement, she filmed herself driving in the country, where it is illegal for women to do so; she was detained and released on bail on the condition of ceasing activity and not talking to media. Still, she remained an active voice pushing for women’s rights in the Middle East.

She is still campaigning heavily on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook for the loosening of Saudi Arabia’s strict legislation, despite the risk associated with these activities. She was awarded the Vaclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent by the Oslo Freedom Forum in 2012.