Gaza World Cup and my first football match


Salam all,

“Want to go to the South Africa?”  “Yes, But the borders are closed!”, the large posters in streets of Gaza promote the two week event which aims to bring some football hype to the Gazans.

I have known about the project through Facebook.  May the 2 nd was the opening match, unfortunately I missed it. But yesterday, my friends and I attended our very first football match.

It all started when my friend told me that her brothers went to the opening match. So, my other friend and I were like “Let’s go to today’s match!”.
Stadiums in Gaza are for men. Girls going to a football match is not a familiar thing. So, my friend and I were worried that our parents would not let us go. Surprisingly, my father gave me the permission, assuming that I would be bored and leave at once.

Excited I was though I am not a fan of football. But that didn’t mean that I didn’t want to try the feeling of being in a football ground watching people cheering over men passing a ball.

England-Jam3y Rafah Vs. Ireland-Friendship
The match was at 5 p.m . We didn’t want to be all 3 girls going to a men territory alone, so the brothers of friends came with us. (though they are way younger than us!)

The 3 wearing scarf girls were darted with looks of “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?” by the guards of the playground.  They thought were journalists, but we innocently said that “We are here because we want to watch the game”.  Still surprised, but  they gave us seats were the foreign supporters were as we literary were the only girls except for a few girls who came later.
The Palestine stadium was not full of crowds unlike the opening match.

The match started while we were trudging to our seats.  The teams playing were Jama’y Rafah England versus Friendship-Ireland. Of course, I was “cheering” for Ireland (I didn’t really cheer Ireland, but I supported Ireland :D) while my friends were supporting England.
The match was going on a slow pace. But that didn’t mar the spirit of ours! Yet, I have a friend who is REALLY a football expert; She kept on comparing the matches held internationally with the one in Gaza. Eventually, we asked her to stop, because it is not fair. Having a green playground in Gaza is enough!!!

Luckily, my team, Ireland, won. With a lot of “HA-HAs!” on my part,  we went home.
It was a special day for us. A new experience that brought us as close as possible to a football match.

The Gaza World Cup is a project that many would underestimate its value. But the idea of this event hits the core of the Gaza plight…the siege. Many do not think of the Gaza youngsters and their need to play sports. This event provides Gazans some sense of solidarity mixed with the entertainment of a football match.

More about the project., Follow the daily updates of the matches.

11 responses »

  1. Amazing!!! I’m so glad you went to the match. It’s not the football it’s what this tournament means.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Pingback: Gaza World Cup and my first football match « 360 km2 of Chaos « WorldCup Football 2010 South Africa

  3. Pingback: Global Voices in English » Palestine: Gaza Hosts Its Own Soccer World Cup

  4. Pingback: Palestine: Gaza Hosts Its Own Soccer World Cup :: Elites TV

  5. Hello Lina ! Your blog is very intersting !
    Do you know Ziad Medoukh ? (french teacher, University Al Aqsa, Gaza )

    I published this article ( whith links for you) on this french Website ( I think it will be published on other sites) =

    also here =

  6. French TV, press, and Web are speaking about the Gaza World Cup. About your blog also …
    for exemple here, this video =

  7. Pingback: Global Voices بالعربية » فلسطين:غزة تستضيف كأس العالم لكرة القدم الخاص بها

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