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Posted On: 17 November 2020 06:00 pm
Updated On: 17 November 2020 05:05 pm

Qommunity Voices: Israa Sameer - inspiring women to take up scuba diving in Qatar

Darlene
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Did you know that you can go diving in Qatar? According to PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), dive sites in Qatar can be found in Mesaieed, Khor Al Udeid (Inland Sea), and various boat wrecks.

Although the underwater sport is male-dominated, it's becoming increasingly popular with women. In Qatar, we reached out to one of the prominent female scuba divers in Qatar to learn more about her love of diving and the scuba diving scene in the country.

Meet Israa Sameer, a Palestinian born and raised in Qatar working as a social media producer and a proud scuba diving instructor.

ILQ: When did you start? How did you get into diving?

Israa: I started in 2016, learning diving was a must to finish my capstone about a scuba female instructor, with the years I took more courses till I reach this level.

ILQ: What can you say about the diving scene in Qatar? Are there any groups or communities dedicated to diving? Are there any facilities where one can train?

Israa: Diving started to be a social activity, you would see lots of groups and dive center groups on the beach, there is no big club that gathers all divers but usually, professionals know most of the divers.

I am part of a team that I and my buddy established we have our friends as part of the group and we host students, tourists, and friends who would love to dive or take courses or try diving for the first time.

Qommunity Voices Israa Sameer female scuba diving instructor qatar
image credit: Israa Sameer

ILQ: Are there many women taking up diving in Qatar?

Israa: Honestly, not many. I’m one of the very few active female divers but the number is increasing every year. However, ladies seem to take the diving course and stop diving after a while.

ILQ: What are your favorite diving sites in Qatar?

Israa: GMC reef, and Edd Al-sharqi.

ILQ: Why do you love what you do?

Israa: Diving is one of the best sport to relieve anger and negative energy. And it’s a kind of sport that you can’t imagine what are you going to see in each dive. Plus after each dive, you would feel that you are in a state of extreme happiness.

Qommunity Voices Israa Sameer female scuba diving instructor qatar
Image credit: Israa Sameer

ILQ: What/Where are your most memorable dives? What made them different?

Israa: Diving with around 600 whale sharks in Al-shaheen field, being in the second biggest gathering in the world

ILQ: Who inspires you? Do you have any mentors?

Israa: I do have lots of supporters from the field but the biggest one is my buddy Khalid who keeps pushing me and supports every single idea until I achieve it.

ILQ: Are you offering any lessons?

Israa: Yes, in the group we do offer courses, trials, and fun dives.

ILQ: What's your advice for those who want to start? What does one need to be able to start diving? Are there any age restrictions?

Israa: Don’t hesitate and try scuba diving! If you have any doubts about diving, those doubts will go away in the first 5 minutes of your first dive as it happened to me in 2016 when I started. Anyone can join diving as long as you're 10 years of age and older.

ILQ: What do you see as the future of diving in Qatar?

Israa: I guess Qatar is going on to be one of the known diving spots around the world as it has sea and desert in the same spots, and the whale sharks will play a major role too.

You can follow Israa via her Instagram account @israa__sameer where she posts photos and videos from her dives.

Cover image credit: Israa Sameer

Do you know of someone who’s got an exceptional talent or is making a difference in our Qatar community? Drop us a line in the comments below and you could see them highlighted in Qommunity Voices!