Reema Juffali’s love for cars started at a young age, and she probably had never imagined becoming a professional race-car driver, let alone in Saudi Arabia. Juffali grew up in Jeddah, where there was an obvious ban on women driving during her adolescent years. Reema started watching Formula One when she was in college in Boston. That was the moment that racing had sparked her interest, and she decided to learn more and even try to pursue it.

She first obtained a driver’s license in the USA, followed by her racing license seven years later in September 2017, the same month that the driving ban on women was lifted in Saudi Arabia, giving her all the more cause to celebrate.

Not too long after, Reema became a part of history: the first Saudi woman to hold a racing license and to compete in a Formula 4 championship, followed by several other international races. Most recently, Reema founded her own team, Theeba Motorsport, in hope of encouraging and aiding more fellow race-car drivers in her country to further their careers.

Reema is hopefully the first of many more Saudi Arabian women who will excel in sports and other industries that have been male-dominated in the region and on a global scale.