Egyptian Woman Set to Be First African Hijab-Wearing Female Referee During Tokyo 2021 Olympics

Egyptian Woman Set to Be First African Hijab-Wearing Female Referee During Tokyo 2021 Olympics

  • An Egyptian national has hit the headlines as the first hijab-wearing female ever to participate in an Olympics as a referee
  • Sara Gamal has inspired women in her country as she will also be the first Arab female to adjudicate a basketball match during the Olympics
  • The news, however, left netizens with mixed reactions as some celebrated her milestone while others questioned what the hijab had to do with her qualifications as a referee

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Egyptian woman, Sara Gamal is set to make history as the first hijab-wearing Muslim and African woman to work as a basketball referee during the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.

Sara Gamal will make a debut as a basketball coach at the Olympics in Tokyo. Photo: BBC News.
Basketball coach Sara Gamal. Photo: BBC News.
Source: UGC

Sara Gamal makes history

Gamal, a civil engineer in Egypt, will also make history as the first Arab woman to officiate a 3x3 basketball match that will be making its debut in Tokyo.

While being interviewed with The BBC, the referee said she has been getting feedback from many female referees in Egypt who keep thanking her for giving them hope that their dreams are valid.

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Most of them thought they had no opportunity in huge tournaments other than the ones they referee in their country.

"I tell them you can do better than me. You can achieve all your goals anywhere you want. You have the power to do it," she said during the interview.

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Here are some of the comments from the post:

@thenaturalone1 said:

"I am so here for this! And one day, this won't be news, but just the norm, patiently waiting for that day."

@bruniejm commented:

"What a process for women's rights."

@juniorosvaldonascimento said:

"Good luck, girl! All the best!"

@rock.gray asked:

"So did they pick her because she’s qualified or just because she is wearing a hijab?"

@heizel_solis said:

Don’t understand why wearing a hijab would prevent her from referring to a game?

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Another woman planning to make history

A Kenyan woman Christine Ongare is also aiming to become the first African woman to win an Olympic medal in boxing.

Ongare qualified for the Tokyo Olympics and will represent Kenya in the women’s flyweight championships.

Despite her fairly small demeanour, the mother of one is determined to make history and bring home the medal.

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