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Pulling out is not a Saudi trait
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 28 - 07 - 2021

Brave, well done, I always trust you; all these are some of the compliments we have been hearing since our childhood for reaching a goal, getting high scores or doing good deeds. These accolades are from parents or friends or from a boss at a work place.
It really matters what words of encouragement are needed to push someone forward. And the forthcoming women's +78kg elimination round of 32 judo match at the Tokyo Olympics has got all in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia rallying behind the gutsy judoka, carrying the Kingdom's hopes.
When Tahani AlQahtani, a young Saudi female, takes the mat on Friday against the Israeli female judo champion Hershko Raz in Tokyo Olympics on Friday, the words of encouragement will be the boost that will be driving the Saudi judo star in that crucial match.
The fact that Tahani has come up against the champion in the category in her first round of battle does not deter the valiant Saudi who hopes to participate with valor while aiming for victory.
It is the encouragement Tahani is getting from authorities, family and friends that is shaping her character as a fighter who values competition as the key step in her quest for excellence.
If I have learned anything out of this, it's the value of human compassion and empathy and its deep impact on us. People literally need to be treated kindly just like a child, even those who seem to act as if they don't need it. I believe they are the ones who need it most.
Another lesson Tahani delivers is that there's an element of risk in every action, and taking risks is always educative and advantageous. We either win or learn from our effort, or just lose by pulling out and giving up. One can probably reach the golden peak while taking the most difficult and risky path, who know?
In a way Tahani reflects the Saudi spirit in which there's willingness to accept whatever results in any competition while competing fairly and with a sportsman's spirit.
This courage of attempting to scale heights also toughens a person to weather any criticism with an open heart and cheerful smile.
I remember one inspiring quote by Denis Waitley, who said, "The price of success is to bear the criticism of envy".
In the end, what allows us to pursue a better life is the kind of feedback we receive, thus, do not ever hold back a good word or message that can make a change in someone's life. Just let the words flow to encourage that someone to make a difference in everyone's lives with their will to aim for the sky.


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