Zeina Nassar, Germany's first veiled boxing champion

Zeina Nassar, Germany’s first veiled boxing champion

On the other side of the Rhine, Zeina Nassar, the boxing champion with a steel mind, clings to her dream which seems to be only a glove’s reach away: to compete in the 2024 Olympic Games, wearing her Nike hijab, specially designed for high-level sport.

Since stepping into the ring at just 13 years old and sketching her first promising hooks, this relentless fighter, born in Berlin into a Lebanese home, has not ceased to fight battle, in and in outside of his favorite arena.

It’s as if I have to prove twice as much as the others, because I’m not only a boxing woman, but I also wear the headscarf “, she confided to a sports journalist, during a well-deserved break between two intensive training sessions, fully aware that we are waiting for her at the turn, today even more than yesterday.

In the end, it made me stronger “said this born fighter, who is careful not to let her guard down.

A hit in the featherweight category, Zeina Nassar deployed extraordinary energy both to defeat her opponents and knock down the most stubborn prejudices. On all fronts, she has also imposed herself in another sphere: that of institutions, where her power of persuasion ended up overcoming the greatest reluctance about the hijab.

Thanks to her, the wearing of the veil, adapted to her discipline, is now authorized in competitions in Germany.

My boxing style is very unconventional, but I’m super fast. It’s my strength “, she explains in all simplicity, immediately joining the action to the word. In front of the German journalist who was interviewing her, she then executed a series of hooks and uppercuts in the void, before throwing, revealing a triumphant smile: ” For my opponents, it is very unpleasant to box against me “.

It is at this point “unpleasant” to face him that the young woman broke a record of victories, which now makes her a real terror of the boxing rings. Out of 24 official fights, she has won 18 in a row, including one by knockout, which is rare enough in her category to be commended.

When she gets out of the ring, the first veiled boxing champion from across the Rhine shines in another enclosure, at the university in Potsdam, where she is passionate about sociology and the sciences of education. A pure product of German meritocracy, a prestigious scholarship was granted to him in order to strive for excellence, also on the benches of amphitheatres.

Raising the bar ever higher, in and out of the ring, Zeina Nassar, who in the meantime has become one of Nike’s Muslim muses and a source of inspiration for her young co-religionists, was happy to learn that the International Association of boxing (AIBA) had agreed to relax its regulations.

In fact, in major international competitions, women boxers are now allowed to fight veiled and dressed in a covering outfit, respectful of Muslim modesty.

If the Olympics are the dream of the finest world of athletes, their mere mention makes the eyes of Zeina Nassar shine, as the Olympic ideal seemed to her for a long time unattainable. Also, it is with tenfold ardor that she refines her preparation, with two objectives in mind: to win a medal, but also ” show people that anything is possible, if you fight for it “.

And we can certainly count on this outstanding gladiator, who fights with courage and panache on all terrains, to give a brilliant demonstration of it.