How A Tunisian Arab Woman Made Headlines In Wimbledon
Tunisia–It is a historic achievement as Ons Jabeur becomes the first Tunisian Arab woman to win the Wimbledon quarter final defeating Marie Bouzkova. She will now challenge Germany’s Tatjana Maria for a spot in the final after the 34-year-old beat countrywoman Jule Niemeier 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.
Jabeur continues to go places but has been in the vanguard for a long time now. She has been trailblazing quartet of Islamic players from the Middle East and North Africa. One shouldn’t feel surprised but emancipation, growth and development comes to nations which encourage sport. This is one reason that both the Middle East and North Africa have been popularizing tennis in a region where for centuries Muslim women have had to be content with playing indoor sports while sequestered from the world.
Along with Jabeur, three other pros — Cagla Buyukakcay (WTA ranking, No. 158) and Ipek Soylu (No. 162), both from Turkey, and Fatma al-Nabhani (No. 473), from Oman — are trying to level the playing fields for women.
It is worth noting that prize money for women tennis players has merely totaled to $120 million in 2014, with a mere 1 percent of players pocketing 51 percent of those purses. Yet Middle Eastern players, many of whom are not among the ultra-rich, move on even as the cost of competing on the professional circuit hits about $160,000 per year.
“As Arab women, we need to know that nothing is beyond our reach,” says al-Nabhani, 26, who lives and trains at home in Muscat. “Whether it is running a 10K or winning a Grand Slam, it is important we know that we can aim and achieve the highest honors. Things are changing rapidly in the Arab world, and it is time for us to ride the wave and grab the opportunities.” She was speaking to the local media.