July 11, 2012
Posted: 901 GMT
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, we meet 17-year-old Khadijah Fahed Mohammed, the first Emirati woman to qualify for the Olympic Games outright. But competing during the holy month of Ramadan – during which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset – will pose challenges for Mohammed. With both Ramadan and the Games right around the corner, she still hasn’t decided: should she fast, or not?
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 to the program why winning a gold medal would mean everything to him – and his family.
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. 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.
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.
Want to see more? Become a fan of 'Inside the Middle East' on Facebook for all the latest photos and news from our shoots.
Posted by: Jon Jensen
Welcome to the Inside the Middle East blog where CNN's journalists post news, views and video from across the region. This is also a place where you can start the discussion so please keep your comments coming. We highlight not only current news stories but also anecdotes and issues that don't always make the top of the headlines.
Read more about CNN's special reports policy
Watch the show
Inside the Middle East airs the first week of every month on the following days and times: