Thursday, April 28, 2016

Qatar: The Sheikha - Full Article

A new generation of sportswomen is scoring pioneering victories in the fast-changing culture of the Arab Peninsula. One of them is Sheikha Reem bint Muhammad bin Faisal Al Thani, a member of the Qatari royal family who works tirelessly to encourage more women to take up equestrian sports.

April 24 2016

Text maria graae Photography daniel stjerne

Taken from the Summer 2014 issue of The Horse Rider’s Journal

Reem is another name for the small Arabian Sand Gazelle, found only in the Arabian Peninsula and distinguished by its elegant frame and big eyes. Like her namesake, Sheikha Reem lives in Doha and thrives in Qatar’s deserts, one of the harshest climates on Earth. For centuries, these deserts have tested humankind; now they serve as a scenic backdrop and a permanent challenge for the young Qatari endurance rider when she is training and racing her horses. “It gives me happiness and joy,” she says, softly and almost to herself, “being out here in the desert with my horses.”
A couple of years ago, still in her early twenties, Sheikha Reem shattered whatever stereotypes the West might harbour regarding the lives of women living in the Arabian Peninsula when she became the first Qatari woman ever to participate in an international endurance race...

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