Jerusalem24 – Dina Amin – How did the girls from the Tulkarem football team end up catching a World Cup game with Qatari royalty?
Just ask Maysoon Nakhleh. She’s the one who helps make the magic happen.
“It’s not easy being a girl and playing football here [in Palestine],” Maysoon tells Jerusalem24.
And yet that is just what Maysoon has been making sure girls get to do, as a youth advocate and team leader at Sports For Life, and during her past six years in sports development for children.
Maysoon says these girls face immense challenges in the pursuit of their passion for sports. Team Captain Aya gets bullied for her appearance and for simply playing sports. And the only option for the girls playing football in Tulkarem is a dangerous concrete field.
There are perks to being on the girls’ football team in Tulkarem though: Maysoon accompanied a group of ten to the Street Child World Cup in Qatar in October. And the following month, they were back for the grownups’ World Cup.
The royal family in Qatar invited Maysoon and the girls to watch a game where they met Sheikha Mouzeh and Sheikha Hind.
“It was surreal, and it was an honor and a privilege to sit up there with them and enjoy the game,” says Maysoon.
And the cherry on the cake? The girls all get a scholarship to study in Qatar.
Find out more about Maysoon, the girls, and the program that sent them to Qatar in the full interview on Vibes.