women's nike

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Last month, Nike released a new digital ad targeted to women in the Arab world. It features different women athletes in the Middle East, including figure skater Zahra Lari from the United Arab Emirates; fencer Inès Boubakri from Tunisia and boxer Arifa Bseiso from Jordan.

For me, there was one scene, portrayed by actors, that struck home. As a young woman in a hijab skateboards along a street, stared down by a middle-age woman, the narrator asks, “What will they say about you?”

Commentary: Nike’s New Ad Asks A Question Arab Women Know All Too Well

“I’m not saying being a runner makes you better than anyone else, but one thing is for sure. Running makes you different. You begin to understand the connection between your feet and the ground. You start to believe in the beauty of unfiltered conversation. You learn that you have to face your deepest demons on 10 mile runs when no one else is around. You become the wind. You love to high five your rivals, the people who just beat you. You learn that your mind and body must coexist in a healthy relationship. So no, running does not make you special. But it sure as hell wakes you up.”