In some parts of the Arab world, women yearn for basic equalities, such as the right to drive a car or represent their country in a sporting event.
Nada Zeidan does both at the highest level.
This Qatari has already achieved champion status as a rally driver, winning the Ladies Cup at the rally of Lebanon and the Dubai International Rally.
Now she’s hoping for more success on home soil – this time at the Asian Games in the field of archer
“It’s important for each Qatari person and in the gulf. As you know it’s the first time it’s happened in an Arabic country. I’m doing hard training. I’m shooting between 300 and 400 arrows daily. And I wish I can do something for my country,” Zeidan said when I caught up with her at her training base in Qatar.
Nada first made her mark on the Games, four years ago in Busan. She was the the first Qatari, the first Arab indeed the first Muslim female to compete in archery then. Now she hopes the experience will stand her in good stead in front of a home crowd.
“I cannot say I want to achieve a gold medal because it’s too difficult. We are still new. But at least I want to do a good job for my self and for my country. I don’t want to see Qatar in last place,” she said.
But Nada’s achievements aren’t limited to the sporting field, she also has a full time job as a surgical nurse in a local hospital.
When preparing for the Games Nada trains at a remote area around the back of an army shooting range.
It’s not glamorous and often she’s alone, but whatever she does, the Qatari stands out from her surroundings, something she hopes other young women from her country will continue to do.
“Because I am an Arabic woman, maybe I understand more other women in my country and our culture. What I want to tell them ‘please do what you like, and don’t be afraid if you think this is right in different way in our culture, our religion, do it, don’t worry,” she says, expressing an inspiring level of self confidence.
But just by participating in the Games, Nada has already made an important step for the people of her country.