Behnaz Shafeie

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Behnaz Shafiei is a young Iranian woman who loves riding motorcycles. She has pursued her passion and is now a trainer inspiring other women interested in riding motorbikes.

TIME CODE: 00:00_05:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Behnaz Shafiei, Motorcyclist: “I've been doing sports since I was seven years old. I've done many different kinds of sports and the sports that I do is intertwined with my life. I can relate all my feelings with it and my happiness doubles! ... And I really like it.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Mohsen Jafari, Instructor at Car Racing: “This is the Alborz race track. It's been about 12 years that we've been operating here.

The various groups that have been trained here are the police force and foreign companies like Statoil, Unilever and BAT. Most women who became champions in car racing practiced on this track!”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Behnaz Shafiei, Motorcyclist (Talking to another Motorcyclist): “Lean backwards! ... Lean backwards!

Uhu!

Go to the corner on the right ... Great!

Accelerate, accelerate! Move ahead!

Curve, curve, curve, curve, curve!

Make it a small one! ... Go ahead! ...

Accelerate! ... Accelerate and move ahead!

Great!

Laleh dear, you did the eighth maneuver and I realized that you're comfortable on the gas tank.

You just bend your body and the motorcycle turns!

Cars will also be moving on this track.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Behnaz Shafiei, Motorcyclist: “I'm Behnaz Shafiee. I'm 26 years old and I love sports!I'm the first motor racer in Iran and I'm the only woman that's been able to get a degree from the Iranian Federation.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Behnaz Shafiei, Motorcyclist (Talking to another Motorcyclist): “In a curve, you shouldn't change the gear! In a curve, you shouldn't use the clutch! In a curve, when you counter steer you should go ahead with the same angle!

I'll do a number of curves right now and pay close attention to how I do it!

Very slowly, I don't want you to speed!

Very slowly, I just want you to learn the technique!

An angle with your hands bent down!

90 degrees ... and you move ahead.

Are you okay with that?

There you go!”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Behnaz Shafiei, Motorcyclist (Talking to a man): “This is her ninth session. ... Okay!

She's practiced with a 125 motorcycle and it's the second session she's practicing on a 250.

Two fingers, the clutch and brake. ... Uuuhu!

If she learns the techniques, she can practice them and improve her skills.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Behnaz Shafiei, Motorcyclist: “I got to know my coach Mr. Mahinkhaki in 1392 when I used to go to watch cycling in Baraghoon.

He said streets are unsafe for motorcycling and it would cause chaos! He introduced me into the tracks and professional motorcycling.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hamid Mahinkhaki, Motorcycling Instructor: “She was really eager to learn! She sold her car and bought a cross motorcycle and an outfit.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Behnaz Shafiei, Motorcyclist: “I spent time on it and practiced. I was perseverant and fought to overcome many difficulties.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hamid Mahinkhaki, Motorcycling Instructor: “Those at the federation are making an effort to make this field known and women who have this talent and interest should have the chance as well. If women enter this field, it would have an impact on the whole society.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Behnaz Shafiei, Motorcyclist (Talking to another Motorcyclist): “Don't be afraid! If you see a barrier ahead of you like a car or tire, break immediately.

Your handlebar is too straight ... try to lean on one side for the motorcycle to turn so you can do the curves easily.

Get going! ... Be careful!”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Behnaz Shafiei, Motorcyclist: “It's her second session. She didn't even know how to ride a bicycle!”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Behnaz Shafiei, Motorcyclist (Talking to another Motorcyclist): “Accelerate and pass! Don't be afraid to accelerate! ... Bravo, bravo!”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Marziye Rahmati, Motorcycling Trainee: “I always liked motorcycling since I was a kid, but I never thought I could learn. After a while I saw Ms. Shafiee and asked for her help. She reacted very well and accepted to help me out ... and I came here to have training sessions with her.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Behnaz Shafiei, Motorcyclist: “Yesterday, she fell down a few times in that turn!

But she's doing it well today! I asked her if she feels scared when doing the curve and she said "no".”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Behnaz Shafiei, Motorcyclist (Talking to another Motorcyclist): “You're doing the curves perfectly!”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Marziye Rahmati, Motorcycling Trainee: “In the future, I would like to take part in competition with 1,000 cc motorcycles.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Behnaz Shafiei, Motorcyclist (Talking to another Motorcyclist): “Get going! Great, see how well you did the curve!

Great! Get going!”

TIME CODE: 05:00_10:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hamid Mahinkhaki, Motorcycling Instructor: “We hope that she'll be able to attract many women to this field sport and train them so they become champions!”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Behnaz Shafiei, Motorcyclist (Talking to another Motorcyclist): “Make sure you do the angle in the curve! Do the angle in the curve! ... Great!”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Behnaz Shafiei, Motorcyclist: “In general, I'm interested in four things in life! God, mother, motorcycle and Myna!

This is my pet Myna. I've had her for six years and I love her so much!

Hello! Hello!

Hello! Hello!

How are you?

How are you? ... Hello!

Myna!”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Behnaz Shafiei, Motorcyclist: This is the first motocross outfit I bought and I like it a lot because I was so excited about professional motocross riding that I slept in it all night!

This is my first motocross helmet! I've fallen down in this so many times while practicing! The shield’s broken!

Now, in general, I have more motocross outfits than clothes to wear outdoors! I mean I'm more interested in buying motorcycling outfits. It satisfies me more than buying casual outdoor clothes, like boots and stuff like that!

I've received these cups for martial arts in national tournaments.

And this is the motorcycle I dream of having! It's a racing motorcycle and I'm really interested in racing!

"Jam-e Jam" says "Jumping to the top of one's dreams"

"I proved that I'm capable"

"Behnaz makes the world wonder"

"My dream is to take part in a race hosted by Iran"

This is the one and only certificate given to a woman in Iran for professional motor racing.

And ... Let me get the published edition!

The Italian magazine Corriere della Sera has published my interview and made a reportage about me, and the magazine invited me over for the festival in Italy.

They chose five women from across the world and introduced them as the best bikers and an example for other bikers. Among these five women, I was the only participant from Asia! We were as many as 300 females who raced around the city of Milan together.

And now I ‘m going to the track and do an intense training with my tutor There's a long jump I want to practice and hopefully I'll manage to do the jump in this session!

Since I started motorcycles, I have feeling of happiness and freedom. It gives you a really great feeling!

If I don't go for a ride for two days, I just feel sick and depressed.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Yousef Madanipour, Manager at Heev motor Racing Track:

“Ms. Shafiee, how are you doing? How was the track?”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Behnaz Shafiei, Motorcyclist: “The stones were a bit annoying! When you want to pass a barrier, there are too many stones and that shakes the wheels!”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Yousef Madanipour, Manager at Heev motor Racing Track: “We've recently made changes here and stones have shown up!

We should've collected them!

Unfortunately, that hasn't yet happened but we'll clean it up for the next session.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hamid Mahinkhaki, Motorcycling Instructor: “What we practiced the last time but didn't get to finish is the jump from here.

Do it once for me to see how you jump and let you know if there's anything wrong so you can do it again.

Well, what you did now ... Start off from there and when your motorcycle lands just accelerate and lean a bit forward in accordance with the styles we practiced before.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hamid Mahinkhaki, Motorcycling Instructor (Talking with Behnaz Shafiei): “Should I accelerate and move ahead?

You should make sure that you're operating in full gear!

Get going!

Oooooooh!

Wonderful!

This jump of yours was good!

It was good!

Make sure you're operating in full gear.

Move in full gear and while jumping lean a bit more forward.

You're hands should be like this and lean forward before landing.

Okay!

Get going!

Yuhuuuuuuu!

Did you have a more comfortable landing?

Yes!

It was very good! This is what we wanted!

Okay, so this jump is done and we're heading for other techniques!

Thanks!”

   

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