- Title: First team of mounted archers takes aim in Gaza
- Date: 4th May 2021
- Summary: ZAWAYDA, GAZA (APRIL 28, 2021) (REUTERS) PALESTINIAN YOUNG MEN DURING TRAINING TO BECOME MOUNTED ARCHERS YOUNG MAN AIMING AND RELEASING ARROW WHILE ON HORSE BACK ARROW HITTING TARGET VARIOUS OF PALESTINIAN COACH, MOHAMMAD ABU MUSAED, COACHING YOUNG MEN AIMING AND RELEASING THEIR ARROWS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN COACH, MOHAMMAD ABU MUSAED, SAYING: "What inspired me to this field is to revive this forgotten legacy (sport). I was jealous to see others are preserving this legacy and are setting big competitions while we, who are the pioneers of this sport, don't have it here, there are almost no Arabs in this sport. This is what encouraged me to revive this sport and that was a reason in many Islamic conquests, also to encourage youth to practice this sport because it helps release bad energy." YOUNG MEN DURING TRAINING YOUNG MEN SETTING TARGET BOARD IN PLACE YOUNG MAN AIMING AND RELEASING ARROW WHILE ON HORSE BACK (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN COACH, MOHAMMAD ABU MUSAED, SAYING: "The archers need to be stable and to be in a high control position because the horse speed is fast. They don't use their hands to control the horse but they control it through body language and the mutual understanding as well as their legs." TEAM MEMBER, MUHANNAD ABU MUSAED, CHECKING HIS BOW ABU MUSAED AIMING AND RELEASING ARROW WHILE ON HORSE BACK ABU MUSAED AIMING HORSEBACK ARCHERS TEAM MEMBER AIMING AND RELEASING ARROW WHILE ON HORSE BACK (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HORSEBACK ARCHERS TEAM MEMBER, MUHANNAD ABU MUSAED, SAYING: "I feel the achievement because we are doing something new, I am proud to be among the first team and from the beginners in this sport." (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HORSEBACK ARCHERS TEAM MEMBER, MUHANNAD ABU MUSAED, SAYING "My ambition is the same like everyone on the team to have a registered team and to represent Palestine abroad." HORSEBACK ARCHERS TEAM MEMBER, AHMAD ABU ZAYED, ON HORSEBACK HORSEBACK ARCHERS TEAM MEMBER ON HORSEBACK (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HORSEBACK ARCHERS TEAM MEMBER, AHMAD ABU ZAYED, SAYING: "The bow is an interesting sport. There is a lot of movement and it needs more focus because the horse will be moving alone while I focus on aiming, it is different than playing with a spear." ABU MUSAED COACHING / DEMONSTRATING HOW TO SHOOT ARROW ARROWS HITTING TARGET BOARD ZAWAYDA, GAZA (APRIL 28, 2021) (REUTERS) (MUTE) VARIOUS OF DRONE FOOTAGE SHOWING PALESTINIAN YOUNG MEN DURING TRAINING TO BECOME MOUNTED ARCHERS
- Embargoed: 18th May 2021 09:03
- Keywords: Archers Gaza Horse-back ridding Palestinians arrows
- Location: ZAWAYDA, GAZA
- City: ZAWAYDA, GAZA
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment,Middle East
- Reuters ID: LVA001EBJQA1H
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Hoofs pounded the ground and kicked up dust clouds as one by one a small group of young mounted archers pulled back their bows and let their arrows fly at a passing target. Most of them missed.
They will get better, said Mohammad Abu Musaed, who is training the first team of horseback archers in the Gaza Strip, a blockaded coastal enclave with a population of two million.
Mounted archery is a hard skill to master. Centuries ago it helped Genghis Khan's Mongol army conquer much of Asia and today is showcased in niche competitions.
Abu Musaed, 40, wants to build a team that can compete internationally and has so far recruited a handful of participants.
After several more tries, all five Palestinian riders managed to hit the target.
"I want to revive this sport and to encourage youth to practice it because it helps release bad energy," Abu Musaed told Reuters.
He makes the team's bows himself out of wood, carbon fibers and glue. Sometimes he decorates them with animal horns.
There are several hundred horseback riders in Gaza but few have so far been willing to give it a try with archery.
The challenge, Abu Musaid said, is to stay calm and focused while standing up straight on a galloping horse.
Fifteen-year-old team member Muhannad Abu Musaed said he enjoyed shooting arrows while riding.
"My ambition is the same like everyone on the team to have a registered team and to represent Palestine abroad," he said.
(Production: Mohammed Salem, Arafat Barbakh, Bassam Massoud, Mustafa abu Ganeyeh, Mohammed Shana)
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