So when the softly-spoken girl from Gaza – the only female to enter MOTG’s latest tournament - blitzed the rest of the field she surprised many people, including herself.
“I haven’t played in 10 years, so I spent most of the time trying to remember,” the 39-year-old joked. “I called my Dad to tell him, and he said, ‘how did you do that?’”
Her Dad, along with her Aunty and brother, were the ones who introduced Asmaa to table tennis at eight years old, setting her on a path to represent Palestine when she was just 15.
After her success in America, her focus shifted to education, with Asmaa completing a master's in mathematics before she began training teachers at the university and tutoring kids in English, Arabic and maths.
Now, she’s been in the camp in Greece by herself for two months but says the return to table tennis has brought about some smiles.
“I feel bad for leaving Gaza. It’s not easy leaving my family. That’s why I’m playing now, sports make me happy.
“In my country, we don’t have a good life. There are no jobs, and there are many problems, so I’m leaving for another country to try again. I want to take my next degree, to be a doctor of maths, and I wish to teach on the same path. When I see someone understand, I feel good, that’s why I love teaching.”
Any contribution helps us in our mission to provide a dignified, innovative and sustainable response to the refugee crisis that benefits both refugees and host populations.
I want to donate
Choose an amount
I would like to donate using
Payments are securely processed using Buckaroo. No payment details will be stored by us.