12 Arab Female Athletes to Celebrate Today
In the last few years, we’ve seen Arab women in the world of sport smashing through every glass ceiling that comes in their way, and the Middle East couldn’t be prouder of the Arab women in the sports industry. Be it in equestrianism, football or boxing – they’re doing it all on a noteworthy level.
Excelling in all the sports that they participate in, we’ve listed just 10 Arab women in sport to be inspired by this International Women’s Day.
Yasmeen Al Dabbagh
Al Dabbagh is the fastest Saudi Arabian woman, and competed at last year’s Olympic Games. Al Dabbagh qualified for the games when she broke a record on June 4th 2021.
Zahra is not only the UAE’s first figure skater to take part in the winter Olympics qualifications, she is also the world’s first figure skater to compete in a hijab.
Dr. Rania Elwani is an Olympian, and a record-holding swimmer from Egypt. she swam for Egypt at the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics.
Ruqaya Al Ghasra is a Bahraini sprinter and one of the first women to represent the Gulf nations at the Olympic Games, in 2004. In 2006 she participated in the Asian Games in Doha and won the Women’s 200m.
Hassiba Boulmerka is a legendary Arab athlete, as she became the first Arab female to ever win an Olympic title and is also the first female African to win an athletic world title in the world championships.
Farida Osman is also an Egyptian swimmer who made her mark in the industry as one of the best professional swimmers in the region. She has broken several records throughout her career.
This Tunisian athlete is a foil fencer and a two-time Olympian. She participated in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, reaching the quarter final. She also won a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, making her the first Tunisian female to do so.
The 21-year-old alpine ski racer is the only female representing Lebanon at the XXIV Olympic Winter Games this year. Ouaiss represented Lebanon in the Small Evolving Ski (SES) Nations Cu, and the FIS (International Ski Federation) Alpine World Ski Championships in Italy’s Cortina d’Ampezzo. During the season, the Faraya Sporting member also won six Gold medals during the Lebanese championships held in the Cedars.
Mahassen Hala is the first woman to represent Lebanon in Olympic weightlifting among other international events. In the 2018 Mediterranean Games, Hala earned the first international medal for Lebanon in women’s Olympic weightlifting.
Qatar first qualified for the Olympics in 1984 with an all-male team. In 2021, Qatari rower, Tala Abujbara represented the country at the Olympics as she participated in the rowing competition.
Aziza Sbaity, a Liberian Lebanese track and field athlete, who set two new national records in the 200-meter race and nabbed the first place in the Turkish Indoor Athletics Championships. Lebanon’s track and field star is now training for the next Olympics!
Ramla Ali made history as an amateur boxer who went on to become the first Muslim to win an English title before representing Somalia in 2017 and made another mark in history in 2021 as the first Somali woman to ever compete in the Olympics.