How did you get started playing football?

Since I was 5 years old, I’ve always had an interest in football. I used to watch my brother and his friends play a lot, so I decided to start to join in. As my interest and skills grew, I made it a habit to go to the local club and play, until it became my passion. But I was always hesitant to join an official team, because I didn’t want to be perceived as a tomboy, which meant I regrettably missed out on many opportunities. However, in 2014, DHL Egypt announced that they wanted to recruit our first female soccer team. It was so exciting because I really missed the sport and it was a dream to get to play again. After going through several assessments, DHL kept pushing me to try as they saw my potential. I eventually got better and I’m still very thankful that they pushed me to be confident and pursue my goal.

What do you like most about competing with your team?

It’s always a challenge to be a coach, a mentor and also a friend, but it’s also my favorite part of my position as captain. Playing football can be quite stressful, but it’s much easier when you’re all close and support each other as teammates.

Do you have any sporting heroes; are there any sportsmen, sportswomen that inspire you?

Mohamed Salah, without a doubt. To me, he is the best example of somebody who has fulfilled their dream and worked hard to make it happen.  My female sport hero is Alex Morgan, striker for Orlando Pride. She’s an inspiration, firstly because she plays the same position as me, and also because she combines feminine qualities with incredible playing skills, which is rare to find in my opinion.

How did it feel to lead the team that won the tournament?

It’s a feeling I can’t describe - what I dreamt of actually came true! I am incredibly honored and lucky. Being a part of this team is an absolute pleasure and I’m so proud of our success.

Who was the biggest support?

Honestly, I am sure I have a lot to thank as everyone gave so much invaluable support. However, I would like to give a special dedication to Ahmed Fayez, our Operations Director, who is also responsible for the football squad. Ahmed always made sure we had all of our equipment and needs met so that we were motivated and ready to go. He went the extra mile in always being there during our practice - he never missed one – which was incredibly motivating. His time and invested efforts in us right from the start was the best thing for me and the team.

Published: January 2019

Images: Shaimaa Lofty; DHL