Reuters: Toronto program encourages hijab-wearing women to get on two wheels

“For Tagreed Elhassan it’s the feeling of the wind in her face.

Cycling gives her a sense of independence and a way to exercise. She learned the basics growing up in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and now a program in her new home of Toronto has taught the 24-year-old Eritrean refugee how to steer and basic bike mechanics, giving her the confidence to teach others.

“I learned it here,” she said, sitting in a park in Toronto’s east end. “Small things that grow into something big.”

Hijabs and Helmets aims to provide education and a welcoming environment toward people new to cycling and the city – especially to Muslim women who may come from backgrounds where cycling was not the norm.

The program was created three years ago to meet a community need, said Menna Badawi, a community health worker at Access Alliance Multicultural Health & Community Services and program lead for Hijabs and Helmets.”

Read the full article and watch the video here. ‘Toronto program encourages hijab-wearing women to get on two wheels‘.