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Palestinian Football Referee Shoots For The Stars


Images via AFP

When Hanine Abu Mariam first refereed a men’s football match, she was overcome by fear, but her trepidation soon yielded to motivation to become a rare female Palestinian referee in international football. Palestinian female referee, Hanine Abu Mariam, stands out with a Palestinian flag on her sleeve in the field. Abu Mariam refeers men's football match in the city of Al-Ram in occupied Westbank between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

The 21-year-old discovered her passion in University and after graduating, she nabbed her dream job and became one of only two women to referee matches in the top Palestinian women’s league and the men’s third division. “At first, I was afraid of making a mistake, but the head referee and other males colleagues helped me,” she told AFP.

Accoding to AFP, she works about seven matches per month at $30 each, the same fee as her male counterparts. Four years back, the Palestinian Football Association granted women the permission to become referees but was faced with controversy from conservatives.

“My family has always helped me and encouraged me. I dream of being a famous referee and I hope to reach an international level, but as an assistant referee,” she told AFP. We are sure that Abu Mariam will soon be dominating international stadiums!

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