Sydney Morning Herald: Fast and furiously keen, Speed Sisters become queens of the road
by Ruth Pollard
BETTY Saadeh pulls up to the kerb in her modified, deep red, VW Golf GTi, dark Aviator sunglasses, styled blonde hair and flawless make-up. After a quick chat, she motions for us to follow her, roaring downhill from the fashionable Ramallah neighbourhood of al-Tireh towards a fast-setting sun.
Mexican-born Palestinian Saadeh has been driving since she was 11. By the time she was 15 she was stealing her mother’s car to go for joyrides. Now, as one of the members of the first all-women’s motor racing team in the Middle East, she drives really fast. Everywhere.
Saadeh is the reigning female champion in Palestinian motor racing – ranked the number one woman, the number one in her class (2000cc, 280 horsepower) and eighth in the top 10 male and female racers in the territory.
The 31-year-old divorced mother of two was born into racing. Her father Julio Saadeh was a champion in Mexico in the 1980s and her 33-year-old brother George took out autocross honours in 2009 in Palestine.
Like her teammates, Saadeh – who studied international relations at university and works in the Mexican government’s representative office in Ramallah – competes against men.