Egyptians and Americans Connect Over Soccer

Posted by Kelli Davis
June 13, 2012
Egyptian Soccer Coach With Youth

Recognizing the positive power of sports, a delegation of soccer coaches from Egypt took to the soccer field, to the classroom, and to local communities to engage with their American counterparts. For 10 days, these soccer coaches, who primarily coach women and girls' soccer teams across Egypt, not only fine-tuned their soccer and coaching skills -- they also got a first-hand glimpse into the lives of every-day Americans.

"We had a chance to work with people of different age groups, different social backgrounds...children with disabilities, and we also covered every single aspect of the game," said Safia Abdel Dayem, a member of the Egyptian delegation.

As a part of the U.S. Department of State's Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative, which aims to increase the number of women and girls who participate in sports worldwide, this international exchange program focused specifically on how girls' participation in sports translates into success both on and off the playing field.

Teaming up with DC United and its charitable organization, United for DC, the Egyptian coaching delegation was able to engage underserved youth from Washington, D.C. and the surrounding areas. While this program brought Egyptians and Americans together through soccer, it also highlighted the prospect of positive change.

Safia shared that this people-to-people exchange, "filled our hearts with hope in a time when we need it the most for our country."

Click here to learn more about SportsUnited and related sports diplomacy initiatives.

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