More women on motorcycles and scooters are hitting the roads in Egypt

Dina Wassef has been riding motorycles on the streets of Egypt since 2008.

(CNN)On the congested streets of Cairo, Egypt's capital city, rider Dina Wassef is mounting a motorcycle, presenting 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.
    "When I started at Harley-Davidson in Egypt, I was very intrigued about the motorcycles I was supposed to be selling. I kept wondering, how can I convince people to buy the motorcycle if I am not riding it?" she said.
    "I decided to start training on how to ride with the house trainer. I took lessons after work, and during my break time. I purchased my first motorcycle in 2009 and I customized it," she added.
    In 2010, Wassef started riding publicly. She said it was so unusual to see a woman riding a bike at the time that many people stopped to take photos with her.
    "In the streets, people were surprised to see me riding. Every time I wore the helmet and turned on the engine I knew the show was about to begin. I used to enjoy watching people's faces smiling and waving at me," she said.

    Motorbike riding groups emerge

    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.
    Maggie Mamdouh learned how to ride a motor scooter in 2017.
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