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Next on Inside the Middle East

Roqaya Al-Gassra of Bahrain was among the first female athletes to represent her country at Olympics, reaching 200 meters semi-final in Beijing . This month, Inside the Middle East takes a look at sports in the region.

Story highlights

  • Inside the Middle East explores stories of adversity, faith, and triumph in the world of sports
  • IME meets Khadija Mohammed, young Olympian facing the challenge of athletics with faith
  • Abu Rmeileh, the first Palestinian to qualify for the Olympics on merit, explains why winning would mean everything to him

This month, Inside the Middle East aims for Olympic gold, exploring stories of adversity, faith, and triumph in the world of Middle Eastern sports.

In the United Arab Emirates, Inside the Middle East meets Khadija Mohammed, the second woman in the history of her country to head to the Games. The young weightlifter is excited, but wrestling with a challenge of balancing the athletic performance with her faith. Like many Muslim Olympians, Khadija will be fasting for the holy month of Ramadan, which starts one week before the Games.

More: Saudi women slam dunk sports taboo

We also head to Jerusalem, where Maher Abu Rmeileh is also preparing for his journey to the Olympic Games in London. Abu Rmeileh has the honor of being the first Palestinian to qualify for the Olympics on merit. The 28-year-old judoka explains why winning a gold medal would mean everything to him -- and his father.

The program also heads to the shores of Oman, a nation pinning its future chances for Olympic glory on one small group of female sailing instructors.

More: Qatar's first female Olympians on target to make history

Just outside the capital, Muscat, twenty-one women are teaching Omani children how to sail, and helping to revive their country's rich maritime heritage. The ladies are also inspiring other women to join the workforce in Oman, a conservative nation where females were not allowed to work outside the home until the mid-1990s.

More: Saudi female Olympians: Historic breakthrough or false dawn?

Finally, in Amman, Jordan, Inside the Middle East meets the women of Jordan's national boxing team, the first female boxers in the Middle East. They might not be heading to the Olympic Games, but Jordan's female boxers are challenging gender stereotypes in a region where many perceive women as the weaker sex.

Watch the August show at the following times:
Wednesday, August 1: 0930, 1630
Saturday, August 4: 0430, 1830
Sunday, August 5: 1130
Saturday, August 11: 1130
Sunday, August 12: 0430, 1830
(all times GMT)