Saudi female boxer urges women to fight for their goals

1 / 7
Halah Al-Hamrani
2 / 7
Halah Al-Hamrani
3 / 7
Halah Al-Hamrani
4 / 7
Halah Al-Hamrani
5 / 7
Halah Al-Hamrani
6 / 7
Halah Al-Hamrani
7 / 7
Halah Al-Hamrani
Updated 08 March 2017

Saudi female boxer urges women to fight for their goals

RIYADH: Women should persevere to reach their goals, Saudi female kickboxing and boxing trainer Halah Al-Hamrani told Arab News on the eve of International Women’s Day, which falls on Wednesday.
“Women should go for their passions. There will be difficult times, but they should overcome those challenges with determined effort,” said Al-Hamrani, the only Saudi female kickboxing and boxing trainer in the Kingdom.
A 40-year-old mother to a 7-year-old son, Al-Hamrani says all women must challenge themselves and push their limits.
She has her own gym in Jeddah, and plans to open a similar facility for children. “I have numerous requests from young Saudi women to open such a facility in the capital, and I hope to expand the network to the central province too,” she said, adding that women come to her gym to de-stress. “Some like to keep on punching until they ease out their tensions.”
After graduating from high school in Jeddah, she moved to San Diego, where she majored in environmental studies and minored in international relations.
“I had already been doing martial arts since the age of 12, starting with karate then moving on to different arts. I have a black belt in jujitsu,” she said.
“When moving to the US, I wanted to learn how to throw a proper punch, something you don’t find in martial arts. I’ve been training myself in boxing and kickboxing for a long time, starting with Muay Thai... It’s the only form of kickboxing that involves knees and elbows.
“After coming back to Saudi Arabia, as a woman I wasn’t able to find work in my field, so after two years I decided to start personal training. I got my certificate from NASM (the National Academy of Sports Medicine) and have been training clients for 12 years now.
“I receive countless e-mails from women wanting to learn how to box. That’s their biggest attraction. It’s new and interesting for them, and they do it as a workout. I find it incredible how many women are excited about this sport.”
Her gym Flagboxing — an acronym for Fight Like A Girl — is an all-women’s facility. Classes include boxing, kickboxing, crossfit, calisthenics and tabata.
Usually classes start with a five-minute warm up, moving on to light weights to strengthen shoulders, then high-intensity cardio with a heavy bag.
After that there is conditioning such as push-ups, jump squats, sit ups and abs training, ending with stretching to cool down.
Al-Hamrani said she has never been physically attacked, but knows how to defend herself in such a situation.


Saudi Embassy evacuates 300 tourists from Lebanon

Updated 19 October 2019

Saudi Embassy evacuates 300 tourists from Lebanon

  • The embassy said that evacuees were escorted to Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut by Lebanese security forces to guarantee their safety
  • Three Saudia aircraft were used to transport them

BEIRUT: Saudi Arabia's embassy in Lebanon has confirmed it has facilitated the “evacuation of Saudi residents and visitors” from the country.
“The evacuation operation, imposed by the security situation in Lebanon and the importance of ensuring the safety of Saudi nationals, started Saturday at 5 a.m. after the Kingdom secured three Saudia aircraft to transport them,” the embassy told Arab News.
“Three hundred people were evacuated as of Saturday afternoon, while the total number of those wishing to leave remains unclear. We have identified a hotel in Beirut as a starting point,” it added, noting that most of those who had left were tourists.
The embassy also confirmed evacuees were escorted to Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut by Lebanese security forces to guarantee their safety.
Protests broke out in Lebanon on Thursday night, and disorder has disrupted roads leading to the airport, with burning tires blocking several key routes.
On Friday, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged its citizens already in Lebanon to exercise “utmost caution.”
Egypt’s Embassy in Beirut also called on its nationals in the country to avoid protest areas, Egyptian state news agency MENA said.
“The embassy calls on all Egyptian citizens in Lebanon to avoid the areas of gatherings and protests, to be careful in their movements and to abide by the instructions of the Lebanese authorities in this regard,” MENA reported.
Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Embassy in Lebanon asked citizens wishing to travel to the country to delay trips where possible.
“The embassy also calls on citizens currently in Lebanon to take utmost care and stay away from crowds and demonstrations,” it said on social media site Twitter.
Bahrain and the UAE warned against travel to Lebanon and called on their citizens in the country to leave immediately.