Doha 2020: 1st Women and sport conference discusses their role in the Middle East

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications
LAUSANNE: The Olympic bid city of Doha hosted January 22-24 at the Museum of Islamic Art the inaugural conference on the role of women in sport in the Middle East and the Arab countries.
Under the theme ‘Women and Sport: From Past to Future’ there were participants and speakers from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Syria, UAE and Europe to exchange information on  the challenges of women from an Arab countries perspective.
The event was held under the patronage of  Sheikha Jawaher Bint Hamad Bin Suhaim Al-Thani, the Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum (QOSM) and the Qatar Women’s Sport Committee (QWSC).
Noora Al Mannai, CEO Doha 2020, herself a woman in a top position in a predominantly men’s world said, “I am looking forward to attending this important conference and learning from some of the leading authorities on women in sport in the Middle East. 
“Getting more girls and women to participate in sport in the region is important and with innovative thinking, new investment and a commitment to embrace change, real progress can be achieved. 
“This is one of the main ambitions of our 2020 bid. 
“If Doha was to be given the honour of becoming the Host City for the Games in 2020, this would represent a major boost to the development of women’s sport in the Middle East.  It would be a real legacy for the region. 
“This conference will allow many insights and ideas to be shared and discussed and will help to push the agenda of women’s sport forward, not just in Qatar but across the Arab world and beyond.”  
Speakers and panellists at ‘Women and Sport: From Past to Future’ include:
 Nour El Houda, Former Secretary General of Syrian National Olympic Committee
Dr Yousra Al Sinani, Assistant Professor in Physical Education, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman
Lolwa Al Marri, Secretary General at Qatar Women's Sport Committee
Shk Hayat Abdulazizi Al Khalifa, Bahrain Olympic Committee Member
Shk Naeema Alahmad Alsabah, Chairperson of GCC Organizing Committee of Women's Sports
Mrs Noora Khalifa Alswaidi, Director of UAE Women’s Union
The conference was also streamed live on Facebook on the Museum of Islamic Art’s page.