Mayye Zayed hopes her film will raise awareness about the sport among women and girls, and encourage more to follow their dreams
On a busy street corner in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, an open-air training camp for female weightlifters has been inspiring women to reach the top of the sport for two decades – smashing taboos in the process.
It also inspired Egyptian filmmaker Mayye Zayed to spotlight women’s success in the male-dominated sport in “Lift Like a Girl”, a documentary that has won acclaim at international film festivals in recent months.
Zayed said she hoped her film would raise awareness about weightlifting among women and girls, and encourage more to follow their dreams – even if that means challenging gender stereotypes in socially conservative countries like Egypt.
“Usually the term ‘lift like a girl’ has a negative meaning, but our documentary is bringing a whole new meaning to the term – an empowering meaning aimed at inspiring current and future generations,” Zayed, 35, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.