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.