People think this new Nike advert is about sportswomen in the Middle East


A new Nike advert celebrating female sports talent in the Middle East is doing the rounds on social media.

The film was shot in the streets of Dubai, and takes an oft-used phrase, whose roots lie in patriarchy:

What will they say about you?

The defiant question becomes a rallying cry to be the best; To be the first. To be the only. The video depicts a number of sportswomen leaping, fencing and fighting their way through judgemental stares, crushing boundaries along the way.

Hind Rashid, Nike’s communication manager in Dubai, told CNN:

The film aims to highlight the stories of amazing athletes to encourage and inspire others.

The video features:

Emirati figure skater Zahra Lari

Picture:Picture: YouTube/screengrab

Tunisian fencer and Olympic medallist Ines Boubakri

Picture:Picture: YouTube/screengrab

UAE Parkour trainer Amal Mourad

Picture:Picture: YouTube/screengrab

Emirati singer Balqees Fathi

Picture:Picture: YouTube/screengrab

Jordanian boxer Arifa Bseiso

Picture:Picture: YouTube/screengrab

The video received praise

But not everyone is happy about how the female athletes were depicted in the video:

The Middle has a growing number of female athletes, though the extent to which one can participate remains a point of conflict. Saudi Arabia sent four women to compete in the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Nevertheless female Saudi athletes still face discrimination back home.

You can watch the entire video, below:

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