Mesada “Reema” N. Ramounieh
Women’s rights activist, goalie and captain of the Orthodox Club as well as the Jordan National Team, member of the Jordan Football Association.
“FIFA says: ‘Football is for all’. So why do they tell us not to play beause of the Hijab?”
To Reema, it has always been a challenge to play football, but with the support of her family she managed to qualify for the national section despite cultural and religious reservations.
Having arrived at a professional level, Reema was confronted with institutionalized exlusion she had not expected: FIFA prohibited playing football with a headscarf and thus blocked the path into the stadium for many female muslim players. Reema decided to appeal against this ordinance and launched a campaign titled “Let us play!”.
Through social media, Reema made the case available to the public. Within a short period of time, more and more people became associated with the campaign. In consequence, a petition and an open letter to the president of FIFA were written. In July 2012, FIFA finally conceded to the initiative’s claims and dropped the article prohiting the headscarf from its regulations.
“We are women that want to play. Wearing a Hijab, or not wearing a Hijab. Everybody is supposed to play! This is a game for everybody.”
City: Amman, Jordan
Founded in: 1995
Greatest success: Convincing His Royal Highness Prince Ali Bin al Hussein to lay the foundation for the development for the women’s football teams and the National Team.
“Don’t let anyone pull you down!”
The team Orthodox Club from Jordan is a selection of young women from Amman, some of which also play for the national team. The Orthodox Club is one of the oldest sports clubs in Jordan that enables not only men but also women to participate in sports, in line with their motto “Sport for All”. Against the odds of social prejudice the club aims to raise awareness for women’s football.
In addition, they provide a safe environment for girls of all ages and abilities to play football and to take their first steps in the local leagues. With Prince Ali Ben al Hussein, who helped lay the foundations for the development of women’s sport, they have found a prestigious patron.
“Being a football player means I’m being who I really am... it means the world to me!”
“Let’s play football and remove all the obstacles!”