Posts Tagged Olympics 2012

Bahaa Al Farra~Running in Real Shoes for Palestine

Posted by on Saturday, 4 August, 2012

Bahaa Al Farra from Gaza will run in the Mens’ 400m today.
The event kicks off at 10:35AM this morning.

Please show your support for Team Palestine.

About Bahaa Al Farra:

Al-Farra’s personal best of 49.04 seconds in the 400 is more than 3 seconds slower than the Olympic minimum, but he hopes to get faster by the time he walks into the Olympic Stadium.
Starting in April 2012, al-Farra and female teammate Wuroud Maslaha, a 19-year-old 800-meter runner from the West Bank city of Nablus, were allowed to train for three months in a fully equipped athletic camp in Qatar.

Once there, al-Farra got to wear real running shoes for the first time.

Training in Gaza:

Gaza runner Bahaa al-Farra (5th R) trains in Shati refugee camp in Gaza City March 25, 2012. The 19-year-old trains for three hours a day in Gaza's Yarmouk soccer stadium, along the dusty streets and on the beach in well worn trainers that were donated to the Palestine Olympic Committee by wealthy Gulf state, Qatar, as he prepares to race at the London Olympics. Picture taken March 25, 2012. REUTERS/ Mohammed Salem

Darting down the bumpy streets of Gaza wearing a cheap pair of running shoes, Palestinian athletes Bahaa al-Farra dodges potholes and traffic as he trains to compete against the world’s best athletes at the London Olympics.

Although an Olympic medal is a near impossibility, the 400-meter runner takes to the city streets for about three hours a day, speeding down crowded avenues in the morning before hitting the gym in the afternoon.

“It’s not easy to be an athlete in Gaza,” al-Farra said.

Al-Farra is one of a handful of athletes who will compete under the Palestinian flag at the London Olympics. Although little has changed since Palestinians first participated in the Olympics at the 1996 Atlanta Games, they’re now making the long-term investments they hope will bear results in a generation – building an Olympic-size swimming pool and asking for foreign aid for four large multipurpose gyms.

“I know that many people and experts say winning a medal is a fantasy, but I have a strong belief that nothing is impossible if you are determined,” al-Farra said.
Medals are unlikely and the athletes are mainly driven by the thrill of representing Palestine.

Al-Farra’s coach, Majed Abu Maraheel, recalled his excitement of waving the Palestinian flag at the 1996 Olympics, just two years after Palestinians won limited self-rule in parts of the West Bank and Gaza, the areas that are to make up Palestine, along with east Jerusalem.

“It sent a message to the world that the Palestinians also have the right to be in the games,” said the 48-year-old Abu Maraheel, who competed in the 10,000 meters and finished 34th.

Saturday August 4th
Track-Mens 400m
Heat 1
10:35 AM

Gaza runner Bahaa al-Farra stretches as children look at him during a training session in Shati refugee camp in Gaza City

Sabine Hazboun~Team Palestine “Pray For Me to Break My Record for Palestine”

Posted by on Thursday, 2 August, 2012

Sabine Hazboun representing Palestine in the Women's 50m Freestyle Swimming PHOTO by Elena Hermosa

Team Palestine returns to Olympic Competition Friday, so lets all give them our support. Sabine Hazboun, who is the youngest member of the Team at age 18, is from Bethlehem, Palestine. She will enter the Aquatic Stadium to take part in the Women’s 50m Freestyle Heats which begin at 10AM Friday, 3rd August.

Sabine will be swimming in Heat #4 and will be competing against; Mariana Henriques from Angola, Joyce Tafatatha from Malawi, Keesha Keane from Palau, Anne-Marie Hepler from Marshall Islands, Judith Meauri from Papua New Guinea, Celeste Brown form Cook Islands and Antoinette Guedia Mouafo from Cameroon.

Sabine will be swimming in Heat #4, Lane #6

Sabine’s qualifying time and personal best is 29.16 which she achieved in the World Championships in Shanghi, China. She hopes to break this record in the Olympics. So watch her in Lane #6 as she tries to break this record.

Sabine Hazboun~Team Palestine 2012

Speaking from the Olympics in London she said: “I trained ten months in Spain in order to take part in this competition. I will do my best in order to break my own world record on Friday. I think also that I can break the best world record in the Women’s Free Style 50m, 24.10 sec, achieved by the Dutch swimmer “Ronomi”, but to do this I need many years of training and preparation.”

Sabine has called on family and friends around the world to watch her compete on Friday and to pray for her as she tries to achieve a new record for Palestine.

Olympic Victory for Maher Abu Rmilah

Posted by on Monday, 30 July, 2012

Maher Abu Rmilah, picured with his wife and three children at his home in Jerusalem

OLYMPIC VICTORY For Palestinian Athlete Maher Abu Rmilah!

This morning at about 10:30 AM Irish time, as the first rounds of eliminations were beginning to take place, Maher Abu Rmilah was prepared to make history for Palestine. Rmilah would be going up against Dirk van Tichelt Of Belgium in the Men’s -73kg Elimination round of 32.

As the time approached, the two men stepped onto the mat and the competition began. Rmilah gave it his all, but sadly Van Tichelt won the match on points. Of course the BBC in it’s ever present bias, did not cover Rmilah’s bout, nor did they even give a glimpse of Rmilah’s fight, but instead focused on the 2nd mat where an israeli was competing.

I find the odds quite surprising (and maybe a bit suspicious) that at the same time the very first Palestinian to qualify on merit is fighting his bout on the 1st mat, there just happens to be an israeli also competing at the very same time, in the very same event on the 2nd mat and that’s the one that gets televised by the BBC. Well, are we shocked?

Never mind though, because take heart, Maher Abu Rmilah has actually won!! Yes that’s right! And here’s why; One of his goals was to show the world that Palestine is a country, and he has done that. But he has also won an even greater battle which can be clearly seen in the photo we posted below.

There!! Did you see it? Go on, have another look!!

Yes, that’s right, it clearly says
“Jerusalem, PLE (Palestine)”

And that is what appears on the official website covering the Olympic Athletes. This is a clear statement to the world that Jerusalem is part of Palestine,that Maher is Palestinian, born in Jerusalem, Palestine!!

Before the competition he said: I’m very happy I will be going as an ambassador for the Palestinian people. I will be carrying the Palestinian flag. It means a lot to us.” I hope to do well, but it is enough for us to be able to tell the whole world that we Palestinians exist”.

And he has done this and much more!!

He came from HERE:


Jerusalem, PALESTINE exists!

He has shown this to the world

THIS is Maher’s victory!!!


NOTE Team Palestine next round of olympic competition will take place on Friday with swimmer Sabine Hazboun. She will race in the fourth Heat in Lane 6. She is one of the favorites to win her heat and her qualifying time puts her within reach of advancing to the semifinals later that day. She is the youngest member of this year’s Palestinian Olympic team. Check back here for updates.

How To Support Team Palestine~London 2012

Posted by on Friday, 27 July, 2012

London 2012~Team Palestine

Irish Friends of Palestine fully support Team Palestine and we wish them the best of luck in their chosen events! We want to encourage everyone to get behind Team Palestine, so we have compiled lists of everything you need to watch Team Palestine compete in the 2012 Olympics. Tonight the opening ceremony takes place around 9PM Irish time and we can expect to see Team Palestine carrying the Palestinian Flag as they enter the arena. That will be an amazing moment. Below you will find a schedule of events and dates, along with the individual Team Palestine members who will be participating in events. We have also posted a list of online locations where you can watch Team Palestine compete from anywhere in the world. So no excuses not to get team Palestine spirit!!!

Meet Team Palestine:

Ahmed Gebril-from Egypt
Maher Abu Rameilah-from Jerusalem
Sabine Hazoun-from West Bank
Bahaa Al Farra-from Gaza
Woroud Sawalha-from West Bank
Nader Al Masri-from Gaza


Saturday July 28th
Swimming Men’s 400m Freestyle, Ahmed Gebrel

Monday July 30th

Mens Judo 73 K, Maher Abu Rameilah from Jerusalem, West Bank.

Friday August 3rd
Swimming Women’s Freestyle 50m, Sabine Hazboun, West Bank.

Saturday August 4th
Track-Mens 400m, Bahaa Al Farra from Gaza

Wednesday August 8th
Track Womens’ 800m, Woroud Sawalha , West Bank
Track-Men’s 5000m ,Nader Al-Masri, Gaza


To watch Team Palestine online you have three choices, although we believe one of the first two choices may be best.

To get you in the spirit, let’s all get our Palestinian flags and wave them for the Palestinian National Anthem (English Translation Included below Video)

My country, my land, land of my ancestors
My country, my country, my country
My people, people of perpetuity
With my determination, my fire and the volcano of my revenge
With the longing in my blood for my land and my home
I have climbed the mountains and fought the wars
I have conquered the impossible, and crossed the frontiers
My country, my country, my country
My people, people of perpetuity
With the resolve of the winds and the fire of the guns
And the determination of my nation in the land of struggle
Palestine is my home, Palestine is my fire, Palestine is my revenge and the land of endurance
My country, my country, my country
My people, people of perpetuity
By the oath under the shade of the flag
By my land and nation, and the fire of pain
I will live as a fida’i*, I will remain a fida’i, I will end as a fida’i – until my country returns
My country, people of perpetuity.