A Youth Group Cultivating the Saudi Skating Community
Desert Eagles is redefining the skating scene in Saudi - and having enviable amounts of fun doing it.
As land of sands and dunes, it’s hard to imagine Saudi Arabia as anything but a regional sandboarding destination - let alone one that fosters a budding skating community. But Desert Eagles, the Saudi skate group soaring over skating stereotypes, is letting no amount of sand get in the way.
“I started this community to push the Saudi skating community forward,” Shareef Masarani, the founder and leader of Desert Eagles, tells SceneNowSaudi. “Not many people outside the community are aware of us, and so we need to push forward. I’m consistent with what I do; I involve the community which is what people want to see.”After the fiery spread of skateboarding in the US in 2001, the sport made its debut at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, becoming an official Olympic sport in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Following closely behind, the Saudi Olympics welcomed the sport among its ranks in 2022 - and the skating scene has not been the same since.
“There’s a lot of jealousy in the skating community here,” Shareef says. “I wanted to show them that that’s not what it’s about; we should be working together.”
The cultural gender gap in the nation has found itself manifested even in skating communities. “Not a single group in Saudi had women skateboarders,” Shareef says. “We were the first to actually scout skilled female athletes to join the team; this diversity is important to encourage more women to join the sport. At the end of the day, Desert Eagles preaches passion - an element that transcends gender, age and status. Whatever it is that you pour your passion into will light your heart up and set your dreams ablaze. That is what skateboarding is to us.”Today, the Desert Eagles team consists of 10 skilled athletes, all allowing the fiery flame of their passion to glide them across the nation’s highest skateboarding ranks. Mohamad Saleh, Nawaf Aldossri, Ahmed Haji, Reef Hassan, Ali Assaf, Faheem Balooshi, Saif Abdulrahman, Abisha Safia, Faris Mandura and, of course, their leader Shareef Masarani are the skating leaders soaring through saharahs and fighting the noble fight today.
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Nov 27, 2023