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Trailblazing woman mechanic changes wheels, oil and stereotypes

Trailblazing woman mechanic changes wheels, oil and stereotypes

LEKAA El Kholy's father used to rub a little blackened engine oil onto her face and tell her to wear overalls when they went to the Egyptian city of Luxor to buy supplies for his car repair workshop. It was his way of showing people his daughter was a mechanic just like him, and of confronting deep-rooted beliefs about gender roles that keep all but a few women out of traditionally male professions in socially conservative Egypt. Today, El Kholy, 24, has been fixing cars for more than a decade in the village of Esna and has captured national attention - with…
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The woman mechanic

The woman mechanic

TAFADZWA UFUMELI THE Nissan SUV in the workshop looks like it took several days to be worked on. It's finally time to start it up and return it to the owner. And so Memory Bere, carrying a battery to get it going, walks over. She's wearing a black shirt inscribed "Work Hard, Dream Big". Selecting a spanner, she installs the battery. It doesn't have enough power to start the car. "Bring me another battery with power, including jump-starting cables," comes the startlingly loud shout from under the hood. A second battery later, the engine finally catches with a roar, blowing…
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