Fresh from her triumph at the West Asian Athletics Championships (WAAC) in Doha, Marwa Khailani returned to her family with a new WAAC record in the hammer throw.
As she basks in the glory of her achievements, she yearns to share her pride with her loved ones and seeks to delve deeper into her family roots, driven by the desire to win more medals and set new records. Marwa has always been a firm believer in pursuing her dreams, stating, "Whatever I have dreamed, I have relentlessly pursued and achieved."
Now, she aspires to extend her ambitions beyond personal success and hopes to inspire others to embrace challenges and achieve greatness. Confidently, she proclaims, "Having broken records in Iraq, the Gulf countries, and Asia, my ultimate dream is to establish a world record in the hammer throw."
From Baghdad with love
Born in 2001 amidst challenging circumstances in the vibrant city of Baghdad, Marwa's family has resided there for a significant period. She graduated from the College of Sports Sciences at Baghdad University and attests, "My family has been my unwavering support system right from the start."
Despite their enduring dream of returning to their ancestral homeland in the Kurdistan Region, political circumstances have blocked their plans.
Marwa expresses gratitude for her family's unwavering belief in her and acknowledges their pride in her achievements. When asked about the most influential support that she has received on her path to success, she proudly asserts, "I have been my own staunchest supporter. Even during the toughest times, I have nurtured and believed in my own soul."
Marwa emphasizes that sports have never hindered her pursuit of a normal life but instead serve as a powerful catalyst for achieving greater things. She reveals, "In fact, sports have been instrumental in my academic success, motivating me to excel in my studies and earn a degree."
Her hammer throw of 47.95 meters at the WAAC was the culmination of her dominance of the event in Iraq over the past six years.
Radiating with pride, Marwa declared her love for her nation after clinching the title with a record-breaking throw. The resounding support and overwhelming joy she received from her nation, relatives in the Kurdistan Region, and her tribe and family members filled her with immense happiness and pride.
Marwa's sporting journey has seen her compete at the World Athletics Championships in Russia, securing a commendable seventh-place finish, and claim the top spot at the Asian Athletics Championships and Arab Athletics Championships in Tunisia, where she shattered the Arab record with a remarkable hammer throw of 48.50 meters.
Reflecting on her siblings, she says, "Some of them pursue athletic endeavors, while others work in the media." Marwa admits to being an ardent fan of the Iraqi national football team, describing them as "the happiness of the people."
Shaping character with athletics
Longing to reside in the Kurdistan Region alongside her relatives, Marwa unabashedly expresses the overwhelming love and respect she felt following her accomplishments. “After experiencing the tremendous support and affection from the people of the Kurdistan Region during my last visit, I yearn to make it my home,” she reveals.
Having ventured into sports at the age of 11, she initially gravitated towards the hammer throw because of her affinity for competitive sports. Marwa now encourages women and girls to embrace athletics as a means to shape their personalities. She firmly believes that even women who may be overweight or lack an athletic physique can still engage in athletics and thrive.
Marwa's dreams are as grand as her achievements. The pursuit of her aspirations and turning them into reality have become an inseparable part of her character. Brimming with ambition, she asserts, "I am an incredibly ambitious girl. Each day brings renewed aspirations, and there are no limits to what I can achieve."
Marwa envisions herself becoming a world champion and yearns to leave an indelible mark on history. With conviction, she concludes, "I aim to create a legacy that will be forever remembered."
Aveen Howrami is an American Kurdish activist with a decade of experience in the education field. She has provided assistance to numerous local NGOs, schools, and educational institutions in their internationalization efforts and technical expertise.