When I first visited Beirut in 2014, I never expected to fall in love with this country, especially given my previous negative experiences in other Arab countries. Lebanon was magical in all respects: culture, people, food, weather… you name it. Since then, I’ve kept it a habit of going back annually, and year after year, I couldn’t get enough of Lebanon, to the point that I wanted to live there.
In December 2018, I was at a spontaneous dinner when an idea struck me about starting a women’s football team, and since I was already funding individual athletes in Lebanon, I jumped at the chance. It was ideal for me to take this sponsorship to the next level.
On New Year’s Eve, I met with the coach and some of the players we wanted to work with, and in January 2019, I drove to Bahrain to watch the national team, which included the majority of the players we wanted to recruit, play a significant game against Jordan.
I can’t deny that I was suspicious for some people “who is that Kuwaiti who is so into the game,” but having virtually daily contact in an advisory position alleviated a lot of issues.
August 2019 marked my first time on the staff when we decided to hold a camp in Lebanon prior to the start of the season. Unfortunately, our first season did not go well when the revolution began on the 17th of October, followed by covid-19, Beirut blasting, and the economic situation throughout Lebanon, leaving me as the only sponsor for this team along with board membership.
Four years after our first meeting, we were crowned champions of Lebanon, champions of West Asia, winners of the Super Cup, and runners-up in the league twice. But the true championship I won was the friendships and families I formed over the years, which made my journey enjoyable and full of memories and stories to tell.