Posted on February 09, 2019

Pioneering athlete Ibtihaj Muhammad will visit Qatar Foundation (QF) next week, to join its National Sport Day celebrations and speak about the challenges she has faced as a Muslim-American Olympian. 

Ibtihaj, a member of the United States fencing team, will participate in National Sport Day activities with Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, and Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, at Education City’s Ceremonial Green Spine and Oxygen Park on February 12. The following day, she will visit QF Headquarters, meet Qatar Academy Doha students, and participate in a moderated discussion and a question-and-answer session at the latest edition of QF’s Education City Speaker Series. The discussion, which is open to the public, will take place at Qatar National Library on February 13 from 4-5pm. 

Ibtihaj made history twice at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, as the first American athlete to wear a hijab during competition and – as a member of the bronze medal-winning US saber fencing team – the first Muslim-American athlete to become an Olympic medalist. The Team USA star inspired a global sportswear giant to design the first hijab for athletes. Born in the U.S. state of New Jersey, Ibtihaj went to public high school and then graduated with a degree in international relations from Duke University, US. She joined her school fencing team at the age of 13, joining Team USA in 2010.

At the age of 17, Ibtihaj was chosen by the prestigious Peter Westbrook Foundation, which selects young athletes from less privileged backgrounds and teaches them fencing as part of a holistic program to develop life and academic skills. The foundation has developed numerous Olympic fencers for Team USA, with Ibtihaj being one of its first female stars.