Gaza girls defy challenges by enrolling at basketball academy

The Stars Academy in Gaza offers girls living in the war-torn area a chance to learn and play basketball.

This course also provides empowered female athlete courses, mental toughness and leadership training.

Eman Abu-Shammala, a 15-year-old student, says: "I came here with a goal. I wanted to master basketball because I dream to be a professional player with clubs outside Gaza if I get the chance."

Her 16-year-old colleague, Amina Naser, said that basketball teaches her a lot. She said this type of sport helps with everyday life: "It is not only a sport or a game but also teaches me how to deal with people and arrange my life and time."

Founder of the academy, Ibrahim Skaik, said the academy aims to highlight the role of females in the society, in addition to developing the girls' basketball skills.

"We also hope to represent Palestine in the future in basketball tournaments. We want to make achievements through our students."

More than 70 girls aged between 4 and 20 are currently enrolled in the academy.