Meet Inas Nofal, the 15-year-old who’s Gaza’s first and only competitive female runner.
Nofal faces many challenges as a young female athlete in Gaza. When she wanted to participate in the fourth annual Palestine Marathon, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, she was denied access. Israel’s civil administration notified her and more than 100 other runners that they couldn’t leave Gaza. The Palestine Marathon aims to shed light on Israeli-imposed restrictions on movement for Palestinians.
However, Nofal doesn’t give up and keeps running in the streets near the refugee camp where she lives. Her family is very supportive, especially her father who helps her to keep moving forward. In an interview with The Washington Post, he said: “I love my four daughters and I see the life through them. Inas has chosen to be a runner, so I am standing with her till the end.”
According to her coach, Sami Nateel, Inas Nofal is the best runner in Gaza at the moment. She’s hoping to represent the Palestinian team at a meeting in Russia in June. We’re rooting for her!