Farah Malhass dreams to become the first Arab woman in an international body building competition

Jordan's female body-builder, Farah Malhass 26, want to be the first Arab woman to participate in an international body building competition. But its not easy for her because of criticism by her fellow Jordanians. The culture and religious norm really matter for a Muslims, But she says no matter what it takes. Below are some of her shots at gym. [7 shots]

Farah Malhass dreams to become the first Arab woman in an international body building competition
Farah Malhass is determined to become the first Arab woman to enter an international body-building competition. She will travel to Canada in September to take part in an amateur competition in the "figure" category, for muscle men and women who do not aim to develop huge biceps.Image Credit: AFP

Farah Malhass dreams to become the first Arab woman in an international body building competition
Farah began training at 20, but soon came up against the disapproval of her family, who could not understand why she should chose to "deform my body and make myself look ugly."Image Credit: AFP

Farah Malhass dreams to become the first Arab woman in an international body building competition
Farah is a sitting target for Jordan's hardliners, not least of all because her body is covered in tattoos: a bare-breasted angel is depicted on her upper thighs, angel wings cover her back, and edgy statements are branded across her arms.Image Credit: AFP

Farah Malhass dreams to become the first Arab woman in an international body building competition
Farah travels regularly to Beirut to get her tattoos after receiving her first one at the age of 17. She says, "The tattoo is vital for me. It reveals my identity and the path I want to follow," adding, "Yes, it hurts, but it is therapeutic at the same time because the pain allows me to overcome the inner suffering that eats away at me." Image Credit: AFP

Farah Malhass dreams to become the first Arab woman in an international body building competition
Farah joined the International Organisation for Migration in 2007 and worked with Iraqi immigrants, "an experience that scarred me with their stories of torture and abuse." She left the IOM last year and is now totally committed to her ambition of taking part in international body-building competitions. Image Credit: AFP

Farah Malhass dreams to become the first Arab woman in an international body building competition
Her pursuit comes at great personal cost; many Jordanian men have strict views on "correct" behaviour for women, as witnessed by the frequent so-called honour killings - of female family members suspected of having sex before marriage.Image Credit: AFP

Farah Malhass dreams to become the first Arab woman in an international body building competition
Hailing from a well-off Jordanian family as one of two daughters, Farah's parents are divorced. She has no contact with her businessman father and her mother is often away on travels. A rebel from an early age, she has nurtured the dream since the age of 14, when she swore that one day it would be her pictures splashed out across the walls of the gym. Image Credit: AFP



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  • Vicky

  • 3 January 2012 10:11
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