40 Palestinian Girls Defy Expectations by Training in Boxing: Setting an Example for the Region
Farah Abu Al-Qomsan, a 15-year-old girl, trains at the Palestine Boxing Centre, the only boxing club for girls in Gaza. She has been practicing her moves, including jabs and punches, with other girls under the guidance of coach Osama Ayoub.
Farah has found boxing to be a release from the daily stresses of living in Gaza, a coastal strip where 2.3 million Palestinians are blockaded by both Israel and Egypt. The club started with only two girls training in a small garage, but as more girls joined, they trained on the beach or in rented spaces before finally moving into a new club building.
Ayoub stated that the girls were prepared as he had been training them rigorously for five years. He added that they were setting an example for others to follow.
Currently, around 40 girls train at the center, which features a full-size boxing ring, training equipment, and posters of famous boxers such as Mike Tyson on the walls. This is a significant achievement in a region where boxing is primarily considered a sport for men.
Farah mentioned that some people used to discourage her from boxing and suggested she pursue a more “feminine” activity. However, she argued that she has gained a lot from boxing and now aspires to represent her Palestinian people and participate in world championships.
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