Women feel more independent and enjoy greater freedom when riding motorcycles as they don't need to wait for family members to drive them to their destinations, said a trainer for female riders.
By Dana Halawi
BEIRUT, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Early in the morning, Mona Remmo, a young Lebanese lady, puts on her helmet and then drives her brothers to school by motorcycle before attending her classes.
Amid a shortage of fuel caused by the country's financial crisis, the Lebanese people usually have to wait for hours in the gas station to fill up the tanks of their cars and motorbikes.
Moreover, the Lebanese pound lost more than 90 percent of its value, resulting in an increase in the cost of gasoline, car maintenance and public transportation, prompting citizens to look for other affordable means of transport.
Unlike two years ago when the crisis did not break out, it is now increasingly common to see young Lebanese women driving their own motorcycles in the street.
"I am very often asked by other young women about the reason for riding a motorcycle and how it feels; I simply said it is convenient, and encourage them to buy their own motorcycles," Remmo told Xinhua.
The young lady explained that the motorcycle has saved her and her brothers a lot of money as the school asks each student to pay 1 million Lebanese pounds (55 U.S. dollars) for the bus service.
"Our family cannot afford the bus service and the school fees at the same time, so we have to reduce our expense for survival," Remmo said.
Lebanese women's mounting interest in riding motorcycles gave rise to a new job: trainer for female motorcycle riders.
As a trainer, Amira Saab said she charges 100,000 Lebanese pounds (5 U.S. dollars) per session for teaching young women how to ride motorbikes.
"When I took my driving test five years ago, I was the only woman among dozens of men applying for the license, but the percentage of women seeking to drive a motorcycle today has increased remarkably," Saab told Xinhua.
She believed riding motorbikes encouraged more women to face their fears and social obstacles. "Some ladies expressed fears during the first two sessions but then they got used to it."
Ladies feel more independent and enjoy greater freedom when riding motorcycles as they don't need to wait for family members to drive them to their destinations, she said.
Mohamad Kanso, owner of a motorcycle shop in the Lebanese capital Beirut, told Xinhua that women's demand for motorcycles at his shop increased by 40 percent in 2021.
"Most of the buyers are university students who cannot afford cars, and employees who cannot pay for public transport which has become dramatically expensive following the devaluation of the local currency," he said.