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Posted On: 28 July 2021 05:30 pm
Updated On: 8 August 2021 03:55 pm

Qatar's female boxer Afaaf Alqorane is fighting her way to the top!

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Qatar's female boxer Afaaf Alqorane has earned quite a name for herself in this exciting sport. She grew up watching Muhammad Ali's boxing matches. Since she was seven years old, she dreamed of becoming a sportsperson. Her journey to becoming a boxer has been full of ups and downs, because she is Dyslexic and also because boxing is generally considered a man's sport, and her father found it difficult to accept that Afaaf, which means "modesty" in Arabic, had such a dream when she was growing up. So, she studied Physiotherapy and even worked as a Marketing Assistant for Nakilat from 2012 to 2013 before she became a professional boxer.

With time, her family, seeing her passion and her dedication to the sport, gave her their blessings and full support. In fact, she often wears the gloves gifted by her father!

The (ILQ) team is bringing you an exclusive Q&A with Afaaf, who dreams of raising the flag of Qatar and waving it in the sky as one of Qatar's first female boxer.

1. How do you feel about representing Qatar in the world of boxing?

Afaaf: It's an amazing feeling because it's the first time Qatar is being represented by a female boxer. It is kind of unique.

2. How did you become part of the national boxing team?

Who's Who in Qatar: Qatar's first female boxer Afaaf Alqorane is fighting her way to the top!
Image credit: Afaaf Alqorane

Afaaf: In the beginning, the Qatar Boxing Federation did not accept me because I was a female. But, I did some different procedures and processes and they took me on five years ago. I was supported by the women's community in Qatar a lot before I was given the green signal by the federation. Master Nasser, my coach and mentor, is the one who helped me the most and coached me to where I am today as part of Team Qatar.

3. Being a woman, was it hard to make a name for yourself in boxing?

Afaaf: Of course, being a woman in the world of boxing is hard but everything is getting better with time. There were no proper boxing academies for females before. I had to train with males and find a way to be respected by them.

4. How do you prepare for your fights?

Afaaf: I do specific exercises and different kinds of training for my hands, such as push-ups, etc.

5. Who's your inspiration and your favourite sportsperson?

Who's Who in Qatar: Qatar's first female boxer Afaaf Alqorane is fighting her way to the top!
Image credit: Afaaf Alqorane, Afaaf with her coach, Master Nasser

Afaaf: I have a grandmaster from the Sultanate of Oman. His name is Mr. Nasser. He is the one who created the world of boxing for women in Qatar and he is the main reason that I stay motivated. Master Nasser was the first person to help me get up and box in the world.

6. What do you consider to be your career highlight?

Afaaf: My career highlight was in 2019 when I went to Oman for 25 days to train. We trained in the mornings and afternoons for 4 days a week. I took part in spiring training, which is a contact sport, to increase my skills in boxing.

7. What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful in what you do?

Afaaf: I face all kinds of hardships head-on and I accept any difficulties that come my way. I believe women can do strong things when challenged. Master Nasser has also been very understanding and patient and has been a big factor in my life.

8. What's the best thing about what you do?

Video credit: Podcast Network Qatar

Afaaf: Boxing for me is a way of life, like fighting but in a good way. The sport has taught me never to give up, be respectful, disciplined, and patient. Also, this is a gift from God, and I must use it.

9. What are your future plans?

Afaaf: To have a lot of students (to coach in boxing). To help them to achieve their dreams and raise them in the universe of boxing. These are all my plans for the future.

10. What are your favourite sports, besides boxing?

Afaaf: My favourite sport besides boxing, I can say is football. I love football and I watch it seriously.

11. How would you describe yourself in 5 words?

Who's Who in Qatar: Qatar's first female boxer Afaaf Alqorane is fighting her way to the top!
Image credit: Afaaf Alqorane

Afaaf: Patient. Hopeful. Lucky. Happy. Determined.

12. What is one thing no one or very few people know about you?

Afaaf: I am into photography. I am also a boxing coach experienced in developing and leading high-quality programmes dedicated to teaching women boxing and enhancing their skills in and out of the boxing ring.

13. What are your hobbies?

Afaaf: My hobbies are watching football and dancing.

14. What's your favourite travel destination and why?

Afaaf: Cuba; because I get more knowledge about boxing and training when I go there.

15. What's your favourite food?

Afaaf: My favourite foods are seafood and vegetables.

16. What's your motto in life?

Afaaf: Stay healthy always and never give up!

17. Is there any message you’d like to give the people in Qatar?

Afaaf: If I want to send a message to Qatari women, I have to say: Don't just follow your dreams, chase them. As soon as you begin to pursue a dream, your life wakes up and everything has meaning.

Afaaf Alqorane also offers private boxing classes for women. For more information, you can reach out to her:

Cover image credit: Afaaf Alqorane

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