by Sanaa Kamal
GAZA, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) — Bodybuilding has recently found its way among Gazans, of different genders and various ages.
Some players seek to lose weight, some hope to recover from the effects of surgeries, while others want to keep pace with the global trend to share their photos on social networks with athletic figure.
Alaa Moqbel, a 21-year-old Gaza-based resident, joined the bodybuilding lessons two years ago to lose his excess weight for a sporty appearance that suits his age.
“During the last grade of the high school, I gained more than 20 kilograms because I always stayed at home to study,” the young man said, adding that after the exams, he was shocked to find out that he was no longer able to wear the clothes he loved.
“Therefore, I went to the gym to exercise the sport in general, but I found that bodybuilding achieves all my goals without the need to diversify sports,” he noted.
Following tireless efforts, Moqbel has succeeded in reaching the ideal weight. He has become a person who loves fashion, and often takes pictures of himself and posts them on Instagram.
Bodybuilding arose in late 19th century in the world. It relies mainly on amplifying muscles and sculpting the body, so that its features stand out. It is also called iron sport, as the player relies heavily on sports equipment.
Players usually exercise for at least an hour, several days a week, while they also follow a healthy diet that helps them reach their goal in record time.
Muhammad Al-Aloul, who works as an engineer in Gaza City, told Xinhua that he joined this sport specifically to get rid of health problems he was suffering from, including joint and back pain.
In addition to the health benefits, sports, bodybuilding in particular, contribute to eliminating the psychological pressures that people in Gaza may suffer due to the unstable economic and political conditions.
Rasmiya al-Sayed, a 36-year-old mother of five from Gaza City, says that she has been suffering from “severe depression” for many months after she lost her home in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict last year.
“Overnight, I became homeless. I have no home for me and my family … I was waiting for aid to feed my family,” she recalled.
In an attempt to get rid of the psychological pressure, after rebuilding her house and restoring some stability, al-Sayed went to a gym to practice bodybuilding.
“About 80 percent of the people who are joining the sports clubs prefer to play bodybuilding,” Suhail al-Asaad, a coach at a Gaza-based Oxygen Gym, told Xinhua.
Sports have widely spread among the Gazan community during the past five years, he said, noting that young people “have extensive information about its importance.”
People here in the Gaza Strip have limited recreational means, including going to the sea, spending a lot of time in cafes, in addition to sports. Thanks to the media, he stressed, people prefer to exercise, instead of harming their health.
“Bodybuilding is not difficult, but it requires continuity in practice for the trainees to obtain satisfactory results,” he said. ■