Feature: Palestinian women join first parkour team in West Bank

  • World
  • Tuesday, 01 Dec 2020

by Sanaa Kamal

RAMALLAH, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- "Parkour gives me a feeling of freedom and the ability to control every muscle in my body," said Kate Kheir, a young Palestinian university student who, along with nine of her peers, joined the first-ever parkour team in the West Bank.

Despite the controversy in their local community over parkour, the 22-year-old woman from the city of Bethlehem maintained that she and her peers have the right to practise their hobbies.

"It helps me to think and decide at the same time" and brings feelings of happiness, Kheir told Xinhua.

"When we practise parkour, we can practise various types of sports, including running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, plyometrics, rolling and others," she said, while vaulting up in the air.

Nadeen Khalil, 21, joined the Bethlehem Parkour team that comprises 20 members, 10 of whom are women, six months ago. She told Xinhua that she keeps practising parkour despite the negative attitude of the Palestinian society toward the sport.

"Our team wants to deliver a message of integration. We want to practise sports jointly and without the borders set by gender, age, or even religion," Khalil said, highlighting the constant passion for adventure that motivates them to take more parkour training.

She hopes that more women in their community could be inspired by her team to venture into parkour to make it a popular sport in the West Bank, citing the contribution of parkour to mental, psychological and physical health.

"The team is currently training once a week, but we are gradually expanding our activity to help build a society of physically and mentally strong individuals," Ibrahim Qatato, founder of the team, told Xinhua.

"Women represent half of our society and it has become natural that they form a major part of a sports team," he said.

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