Growing up With Green Coffee and Coco Beans

How often have you heard someone say: “My parents want me to become a doctor or an engineer”? Only few people dare to challenge societal “norms” and walk the path less traveled. 

Café Younes, founded in 1935, is the oldest coffee shop in Lebanon.  If you are a regular customer, you must have exchanged at least a few words with Ahmed, a skinny young man with curly brown hair, who wears eye glasses. You can tell that he is always smiling even behind the mask. 

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Dreams on hold: How the current situation is affecting Lebanese Athletes

Corona hits, Olympics are postponed, competitions are suspended, an athlete’s season is put on hold; that’s the harsh reality every athlete should accept. 

The global economy is affected and sport is no longer on the priority list. Over the decades, sport has evolved from amateurism to professionalism. However, even if sport is a profession nowadays, its life spam is short to say the least. It is also so fragile that it could come to a premature end by an injury or a pandemic. 

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New Season, New Coach

My life in track and field was pretty simple: I was a student at Champville, I was discovered by the first female athlete to participate at the Olympic Games: Arda Kalpalkian, I started training with Elie Saade at the age of 12 and spend 11 years training with the same person who has been more than a coach to me, he was my mentor.

I am now 23 and at the end of the 2017 season I took the hardest decision of my life, to face my mentor and tell him that I want to train with another coach. It wasn’t easy for him and definitely not for myself. It was hard because I had to put my feelings aside and do what is best for my career as an athlete. Continue reading

Salwa Eid Naser, Since Nanjing 2014

Salwa Eid Naser. This name takes me back to the Youth Olympic Games in 2014, where I was an IOC Young Reporter. I remember standing in the mixed zone, watching the Bahraini youth athlete crossing the finish line in second place and winning the first Youth Olympic medal for Bahrain.

When she finished her race, she bowed, her head to the ground. She was wearing a track body suit which reminded me of Cathy Freeman in Sydney 2000. When she approached the mixed zone, I tried to speak to her in Arabic, but obviously, she didn’t understand, therefore I continued in English. Continue reading

2017 Francophone Games & Its Consequence

The 8th edition of the Francophone Games were held in Abidjan, Ivory Costs. This was my third Francophone experience.

The first time it was held in Beirut back in 2009, where we had a two months of training camp at the Lebanese University but one day prior to the competition, I was informed that I couldn’t compete because I was only 15. I made lifetime friends like Manal Tayyar, Aziza Sbeity, Michel Zeinaty, Sara Awaly, Ramzi Naim and all the athletes became more close to one another.

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Another Norwegian Experience: Competing and Escaping Society

13 Feb. 2017 – Sometimes you got this choking feeling that comes from people that surrounds you, work maybe or routine, and you just need to go away, escape your society and enjoy some time of freedom discovering new places far from home, far from the routine and the familiar faces.

Last year it happened that I was in Norway and found an indoor competition here. Therefore, this year I decided to come again accompanied by two juniors athletes Lea Obeid and Peter Khoury who never ran indoors before. We competed all three together in the Tyrving Athletics Championship in Bærum, located at 30min from Oslo.

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Athlete or Journalist? My Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games Experience

September 2016 / December 2016 – Since I was 12, I used to do a lot of research about the Olympic Games, athletics and Olympians such as Carl Lewis, Jackie Joyner Kersse, Heike Drechsler, Mickael Johson, Flo Jo and the stars of the 1980’s. The passion for sports was born in me 10 years ago.

At the age of 16, I had my own website about Lebanese athletics called “The Track and Field Society”. A project that was an open door for unique opportunities such as taking part in the IOC Young Reporters program. An experience that changed my life upside down. I will share it with you later on.

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56th Young Participants IOA Session 2016

11 to 25 June 2016 – I wanted to start my personal blog by sharing this unique experience at the International Olympic Academy.

11 June 2016, on my 22nd birthday, I took off to Greece, not knowing what to expect from the 56th Young Participants session. Carolina Cambella, my friend from the IOC Young Reporters program who represented Argentina in the previous session, told me that it will be an amazing experience and that I will enjoy it a lot! Continue reading