Emirati show jumper Amna Bani Hashem: Empowerment will help Arab women make history

An Emirati equestrian who grew up watching the window of the Olympic dream in front of her, as she put it, clings to that mysterious link between people and horses, and hopes that women will get more attention than men in sports. Amna Bani Hashem, a jockey, is redoubling her efforts to compete in the World Jumping Cup, working to realize the dream of reaching the Olympics if the necessary support is available to qualify, especially as the task requires high-level horses. I met her “Ma’am” in this interesting interview.

I am interviewing Lama AlShethry
Dialogue Format I Lina AlHorani
Supervision and coordination of the costumes by I Rana Al-Tusi Rana AlTousi
format help | Icho Ducao Maestrado
Photography | Amer Muhammad Amer Mohamad
Hair and Makeup | Julia Rada

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Marmar Halim dress

How did you enter the world of equestrian sports and show jumping? Describe your relationship with horses?
I remembered the brief moments when I tried horse riding in my childhood, and decided to try it again, thus beginning my journey with horsemanship. It was the first time I rode a horse in Reem Al Abbar’s stables, and my trainer was a very strong lady, a talented jockey who loved her job to the point that everyone around her felt her passion and it was clearly in her line. I will never forget how you taught me to drive and ride, it is etched in my mind. That’s why my passion started.
I love horseback riding because of the mysterious connection between humans and horses, one that is hard to explain but one that is so powerfully visible and palpable. Horses have taught me a lot about myself, they have made me better than before, which is another reason why I love them.
What are the three most important elements that must be present in a jumping jockey?
To have a good relationship with the horse, to keep the horse calm and balanced.
The horse must be in good condition and fit to jump; Where he can lift his front legs to his chest, and learn to jump straight with his back legs. The horse must have the fitness and strength of the body to perform the jump correctly.
What state of mind and feelings do you have while jumping, especially in competitions and tournaments?
I calm myself before any competition and prepare with prayer in the morning, when I feel fully focused on my horse and my fitness. When I hit the track, I feel peace and calm with every jump, especially when it’s going well.
Is there a jockey or athlete who you think is an icon of success?
For me the knight bin Maher is an icon of success. He is a distinguished knight who has represented Britain several times in the Olympic Games.

I love riding because of the mysterious link between people and horses, it’s a link that’s hard to explain
I was very pleased with the appearance of Arab women in the world championships, we have come a long way on the road of achievements

Marmar Halim dress

Maths support

How do you see the role of parents and society in supporting mathematics in the Arab Gulf?
I believe that the family and society play a very important role in supporting sports and education in general in the Arab Gulf States; It can lay the foundations from a very early age, instill a love of education in children from an early age and provide them with the resources they need to excel and succeed. As a community, we can work together to raise the potential of children in the Arab Gulf States, and to set an example for them.
What challenges have you faced in this predominantly male sport?
Many underestimate the ability of women in sport in general, and it is not just limited to equestrian sports and show jumping. And women and women’s teams are not cherished as much as men in the sport. Frankly, there are many obstacles, and women still need more support and care to be able to compete in the professional categories; Because this sport is very dependent on financial resources.
What do you think about the presence of Arab women in the world championships, especially after the arrival of the Tunisian player Anas Jaber to the semi-finals of Wimbledon?
I was very pleased with the appearance of Arab women in the world championships, we have come a long way, and we have a lot to offer, not only in horse and show jumping, but in all different sports; We see more and more women in the region shining with their talents, which is very inspiring.

Mysteries of the world arouse my curiosity
You work as a mechanical engineer during weekdays. Tell us about the impact of these different aspects on your personality?

I have always been a fan of science! In my childhood, the various aspects of science and the mysteries of the world aroused my curiosity and interest, and I wanted to know everything that happens in the universe, and how it happens. Therefore, it was only natural for me to study mechanical engineering at university.
Always keen on discipline and respect for time, I realized the value of time and the importance of spending it on fruitful things. I have many ambitions, and I need to make the best use of my time to achieve them.
We all have time to do what we want, but it depends on how seriously we do it.
What is your advice to young women interested in equestrian sports?
I advise them to always stay calm, and at the same time do their best, actions speak louder and have a bigger impact than words!
You have to believe in yourself and in your vision, and that’s the key to keep going when things get tough. In show jumping, girls have the opportunity to reach advanced levels if they continue to work hard and have enough determination and determination.

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During my sports career I made many mistakes due to lack of experience, but it made me stronger and more flexible

Marmar Halim dress

Take advantage of mistakes

What are the moments of success for you, and how do you deal with mistakes?
The most important moment of success in my sports career was winning the Emirates Championship in 2021, and being honored by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
During my sports career I made many mistakes due to lack of experience and sometimes lack of guidance, but it made me stronger and more flexible; Because I learned from it, and I benefited in the long run, and that’s what we all have to learn from our mistakes. So I think it was a positive thing in the end, as I learned from it to get better over time.
Are there training programs that have helped you develop in your sports career?
I was invited to study leadership skills at the Royal Military College in Sandhurst, which greatly contributed to my level of discipline and determination, and in turn helped me achieve my sporting goals.

Knight Support

In your opinion, what do Arab women of Tamkeen need to make history in equestrian sports and show jumping?
I think we need to educate women in the UAE, introduce them to the world of horse riding, and provide training, support and funding so that the community of female riders can grow locally and internationally. There are already many women in the field, or who have just started practicing this sport, and they have promising and great potential to achieve good results, but the financial aspect is a big obstacle, this sport mainly depends on financial support, and I feel that empowerment will contribute to helping Arab women make History by providing financial support and sponsorship programs. Partnerships with institutions, such as the Emirates Equestrian and Racing Federation, and joint programs can be developed.
When I started my journey into the world of horse riding, I did not have the necessary financial support; This made it much more difficult to make progress and achieve goals.
Do you have hobbies that make you feel happy and relaxed?
The most relaxing thing for me is spending time with friends and family outdoors, or around the dinner table; Where I get rid of stress and freedom from anxiety.

The family and the community have a very important role in supporting sports and education

Kristina Fidelskaya dress

Busy daily program

How do you deal with stress and schedule daily commitments in work and life?
My daily schedule is busy, but I prefer it to be. I get up every day at four in the morning to get to the stables, and start driving at five; I exercise a few hours before I go to my engineering job in the oil and gas sector, and try to sleep 10 hours early.
There is no doubt that prayer is an essential part of my day. It helps me to discipline, clear my mind and focus on my main goals in life, which is beyond this life that will leave us all. This belief helps to overcome difficulties; Because we remember that nothing lasts forever.
Fajr prayer is also an essential part of my day and a source of my emotional, physical and spiritual strength and energy.
Which city or country inspires you or dream of visiting?
I travel constantly, and there is no particular destination that I prefer, I like to live an immersive experience in all cultures, and see new things in every country I visit. I am inspired by many great leaders, like Gandhi, and I like to delve into the cultures of the countries I travel to, learn about their cultures and see their positive side.
This year Ma’am celebrated her forty-first anniversary. What message are you sending to my readers and followers through this meeting?
I fully believe that hard work and good ethics enable one to achieve anything one aspires to, regardless of one’s origin and destination in life.

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I immerse myself in all cultures, and see new things in every country I visit

Dress by Rami Al Ali

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