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Nada Mashaal: When Life Gives You Hijab, Wear It And Be a Ballerina Anyway

June 24, 2017

“I failed at splits when I was a gymnast, my sister and cousin could easily do [them] but I just couldn’t,” Nada Mashaal started off her story, remembering when she couldn’t nail the most difficult moves as a 5-year-old gymnast. Nada, a 20-year-old hijabi girl and a veterinary medicine student, embarked 10 years ago on a quest to find a suitable Ballet school in Alexandria when she discovered her passion for it. With no help whatsoever from anyone, Nada decided to look up on the internet for some places teaching Ballet. “When I was 10, I was watching Egypt’s Ballerina Nelly Karim on the screen when she was dancing in a movie, I told myself that I want to do what she is doing. I took to the internet, which was rather limited at the time, picked a place and spoke to my mom about it,” Nada says. Nada’s mother didn’t want her to get distracted from school; she thought Nada was merely overwhelmed by a movie and will get over it in a while. However, after immense pressure from Nada’s side, she had to comply with her new passion. At first,…

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