Our message to the world.. Pay attention to the dreams of the children of Palestine
Yaman Masri: Young women played football on a grass field for the first time
Aya Habayeb: I am trying to become a professional to help my father and sister who have cancer
Jana Abu Haysh: I dream of my country participating in the FIFA World Cup
Maysoon Nakhleh: We raised the Palestinian voice. Every girl here has a story to tell
A team of Palestinian refugee women returned to Doha to participate in the activities of the Amazing Generation Festival as part of the “Goal 22” program at Education City, held in partnership between the Qatar Foundation and the Amazing Generation Foundation, as part of the activities of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 ., after participating in the fourth edition of the championship. The Children’s FIFA World Cup Doha 2022, which was held in October in Education City.
In their statements to The Arab Weekly, the Palestinian refugee women said their participation carries a message to the world, which they sent from Qatar, to pay attention to the dreams of children in Palestine and help them achieve them. They are like captive birds waiting for someone to open the cage door so they can fly.
They emphasized that their second trip to Qatar was full of emotions, because football is not just a game, but a bridge that brought them to Qatar, as the first Arab country to host the World Cup in history, where they raised their voices as Palestinians from Katara to the world.
“Youmoun Masri,” 29, a soccer and life skills coach who trains Palestinian refugee women in the Tulkarem camp to play soccer, said she came with a team of Palestinian refugee women to Qatar to participate in the fourth edition of the Doha Children’s World Cup. 2022 which was held last October in Education City; And then return to Doha in November to participate in the Amazing Generation Festival activities as part of the “Goal 22” program at Education City, held in partnership between the Qatar Foundation and the Amazing Generation Foundation, as part of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 activities ™.
She indicated that she lost her dream of being a professional soccer player one day because her childhood community did not support her to achieve her dream. She insisted on passing this dream on to the new generation.
Yemen Masri added to The Arab Weekly: “When I was the age of these young women, I became a professional soccer player and I had talent, but at the time I didn’t get any sports or social support as a girl who played soccer. I’ve always wondered what if I had the chance? She said, I chose to study physical education at the Palestine Technical University – Khadouri in Tulkarem, then I specialized in football and I made great efforts to enroll in this specialty, which did not accept women, and indeed, I was the first girl to specialize in football.
She added: “What I was deprived of in my childhood, I wanted today’s children to have. My goal is to leave a positive impact on the child and instill in him the right to dream and to achieve what he wants. He must be fully aware that his reality today will not be his future tomorrow. So I work to guide them to develop their life skills and learning skills within the concept of sport for change.”
Yum started her career with Palestine Life Association about 7 years ago and she designed a special program for Tulkarm as a community service, and she started her journey by training only one girl, because it was difficult to convince girls to join this game due to social barriers. Over the years, about 50 girls and 80 boys have been included in the program.
Yemen continued: “It is not common for a girl to play football in our societies, including Tulkarm. Therefore, I have always tried to convince parents of the positive influence of sports, and with them I have tried many times to ensure safe training for their daughters, gain their trust and prove to them that football is a tool that benefits their daughters, especially since they live in difficult economic and social conditions in to which they are not available. Any entertainment or educational means.
And she concluded: “These young women played football on a grass field for the first time in their lives here in Qatar,” adding: “To those who dream of opportunities, I say dream, work hard, persevere, be patient and most of all, believe in your abilities.”
She explained how being a coach of a football team is a profession in which there are many psychological and social pressures, but also many other difficulties, because you will be a wedge on which the team members rely in despair, fatigue and exhaustion, and you will also be a source of strength and motivation and courage to face all difficulties. How about being the coach of a team of young Palestinian women who live in the Tulkarem refugee camp in the West Bank, where schools are overcrowded, unemployment is high, chronic diseases are common, and the sewage network is insufficient.
insisting on the goal
For her part, Aya Habayeb, an 18-year-old Palestinian national soccer player, says: “I started playing soccer at the age of six and faced opposition from my parents and society, but I insisted on continuing because soccer is a refuge through which I express my feelings of anger and of sorrow, since my father was injured.” I had cancer when I was in the prep stage and no treatment was available for it.
She added: “My coach played a big role in helping me overcome many difficulties, apart from being bullied, being a girl with short hair and playing football, because the environment we live in thinks football is only for men. I dream of being a professional gamer to help my younger sister who also has cancer and to help my father, being my oldest sister, and to achieve that I always try to turn social bullying into an incentive to persevere.
Aya sent a message to the world saying: “From Qatar I am telling the world: Pay attention to the dreams of children in Palestine and help us make them come true. We are like captive birds waiting for someone to open the cage door for us so we can fly and express your dreams and yourself.”
My life has changed
In return, Jana Abu Heish, a 14-year-old member of the team, said: “When I started playing soccer, I didn’t expect to fulfill my dream and one day be on a plane, and where to? To Qatar, where the World Cup matches are held. Everything changed in my life in two years. I wanted to live the dream of traveling one day, so I joined the team and underwent intensive training for two years. I wouldn’t have gotten here without the help of my coach. She is the one who motivated me to succeed, because she always tells us that we are strong, that we must persevere and be patient in order to achieve what we want. ».
And she continued: “We aspire to professional football, but there are no sports facilities and no tools. We train on the school playground on an asphalt surface and are always prone to injuries. During the winter, the stadium becomes a pond. She added: “I dream of the participation of the Palestinian national team in the FIFA World Cup and I hope to attend the matches of this tournament like all the fans.”
Maysoon Nakhleh, translator and coordinator with the Palestinian team within the Palestinian association Sports for Life, explained to us her role in bringing the voice of Palestinian girls to the world, saying: “I am dedicated to performing my duties as a translator professionally. with the team, but my trip with the team to Qatar for the second time is full of feelings.
Maysoon said: “When I translate their words, I translate with them their dreams, determination and resolve. I speak from my heart and defend them because they are part of all our dreams as Palestinians. Every girl here has a story to tell.”
She explained: “Football is not just a game, but a bridge that brought us to Qatar, the first Arab country to host the World Cup for the first time in history, while as Palestinians we raised our voice from Qatar to the world, say that we exist, we are steadfast and strong.”
It is worth noting that the Qatar Foundation has many interesting activities during the FIFA World Cup in Education City, including exhibitions, a cultural festival and a unique experience for fans before the start of the matches at the Education City Stadium.