By Yasmeen Badawy
Cultural norms in Egypt are as important as laws and they’re hard to break especially when you’re a woman. In an attempt to challenge the country’s conservative norms group of Egyptian women gather at an abandoned park in a Cairo suburb once a week, climbing walls and jumping around in the physical discipline or sport known as Parkour. The women have trained every week for the past six months with the aim of forming the first professional Parkour team in Egypt.
Ten women took part in last Friday’s training, which focused on building upper body strength and different methods of dealing with surroundings. Egyptian crowds who were curious gather to watch the training and often take pictures. People are accustomed to women taking a low profile in Egypt and they were probably in awe of what they were seeing. However, the women continue training asserting that no sport is exclusive for men.
According to Reuters, Zainab Helal who is one of the players, said “It is natural that people did not accept it because they were not used to it.” The women are guided by Coach Mohamed Omran who said “as the sport spreads the acceptance of women training increases and it is not unusual for women to have a team and train.”