Gaza: Female Palestinian Weight Lifter Breaks Social Taboos

Nadia Almasri, 20, is the first female bodybuilder in Gaza (Photo: via Alawda)

Nadia Almasri, a 20-year-old Palestinian woman from Gaza, practices weight lifting and bodybuilding in defiance of social taboos in the area which restrict the sport to men.

Almasri attend a bodybuilding club in the West of Gaza City and says she feels “passionate and comfortable when lifting weights”.

Almasri notes that very few girls in Gaza practice bodybuilding and she does her workout at home, where she purchased equipment at her own expense. “I want to get away for a while from the problems resulting from the siege and electricity outages. I breathe freedom when I practice,” she says.

(Palestinian woman from Gaza practices bodybuilding and dreams of going international)

“Many feel uncomfortable because a girl is practicing and doing this sport due to Gaza’s conservative culture. But I will continue until I become known internationally,” Almasri continued, adding “Today, all these restrictions imposed on Palestinian women must be lifted. Women should practice whatever they want freely,” she added.

Almasri started lifting weights two years ago. “Our dreams face the reality of the 10-year siege imposed on Gaza,” she notes.

Israel has imposed a siege on Gaza in 2007 after the Hamas movement won the elections and took over the Gaza Strip following faction fighting with the Fatah movement, which now rules the West Bank.


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