Sunday, May 1, 2016

May Days: Marathon in Gaza

 It's no crisis drill either:

"She’s a young runner in Gaza, and she refuses to give up the race" by Hazem Balousha Washington Post   April 02, 2016

MAGHAZI, Gaza Strip — She is Gaza’s only competitive female runner.

Since the militant Islamist movement Hamas took over the strip in 2007 and barred mixed groups of men and women in many public activities, female athletes have faced wide-ranging restrictions. Girls rarely participate in sports, and if they do it is behind closed doors.

Won elections, but..... never the militant Zionist movement that took over, you know.

A marathon scheduled to take place here in 2013 was canceled by the United Nations because Hamas would not allow women to participate.

At first she faced verbal abuse from people shocked to see a young woman exercising in public. But support from her family, particularly her father — who rides alongside her in his car — spurred her on. Now the taunts have turned to support and admiration.

Gazans are realizing this young runner is serious and talented.

Before Hamas took over the strip, female athletes in Gaza were viewed as pioneers. The runner Sanna Abubkheet was one of only three athletes — and the first and only woman — to represent Palestinians at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

Inas Nofal is also hoping to compete, despite the obstacles she faces. Her actions have inspired other young women to join her in her training, albeit in the stadium for now.

Last Friday, she was scheduled to participate in a 10-kilometer race in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, but earlier in the week she was still waiting for a permit from Israeli authorities to leave Gaza. The event is part of the fourth annual Palestine Marathon, an event arranged by the Palestine Olympic Committee and the Right to Movement organization, among other groups....

Just don't run too close to the fences.


I'm so far behind when it comes to the plight of Palestinians in the Holy Land -- a 70 year marathon at this point.