As the first female Emirati parkour athlete, an extreme-sports pioneer, and a Nike ambassador who constantly pushes the boundaries of physical and mental activity, Amal Murad is the epitome of #GirlPower, helping redefine how women are seen in the male-dominated world of sports.
“Parkour is about overcoming obstacles. You’re trying to get from point A to point B in the most efficient manner possible. But my favorite part of parkour is that you’re overcoming the obstacles in your head. Parkour taught me to trust my own abilities and not overthink things,” she reveals.
Don’t be afraid of your own greatness. Believe in yourself and others will too.
“I wasn’t a popular kid, and I had anxiety. Most girls would think of excuses to miss PE class, but I couldn’t wait to get out there and run around. As I got older, parkour helped me discover who I am as an individual and helped me realize that I’m a strong woman and have so much I can offer the world.”
Murad credits much of her success to the strong support of her family, but she soon discovered that the outside world wasn’t as accepting. “There’s a phrase in Arabic that translates to, ‘What will people say about you?’ It’s every little girl’s nightmare growing up,” she explains. “We hear this every time we do something that might be met with criticism. It’s not just in our country – we all believe that, if we do something that’s not part of the norm, we’ll stand out in a bad way. I’ve learnt that, if you genuinely want to do something amazing, change people’s lives or inspire them; don’t be afraid to try. Don’t be afraid of your own greatness. Believe in yourself and others will too.”
It was thanks to parkour that Murad overcame her fear of falling, helping her gain strength both physically and mentally. “Falling isn’t failing. It helps us grow, makes us better, and forms who we are. We should allow ourselves to be open to that feeling.” This is a message that she passes on to the children she teaches and coaches, helping empower them to be who they want to be and lead healthier lives. “I didn’t know how people would react to me practicing a sport that’s not been introduced to our society. Through this journey, I’ve learned that, by falling, you actually learn how to land.”
In celebration of the pioneering spirit of women across the Middle East, Nike tapped Murad to create an inspirational film, which has been shared exclusively with Savoir Flair. By featuring powerful athletes and their stories, the aim is to inspire and enable more women to get active and unleash girl power into the world of sports. As the slogan goes, “Just Do It”.