A female doctor based in UAE, who took to boxing to beat COVID-19 stress, has gone on to win gold in a national level championship. Meet Dr Noha Fathallah Mohammad Abdelghani from Egypt, 38, the winner of the UAE Muay Thai Championship held in Abi Dhabi last month. The medical frontliner is a specialist in anaesthesia at Baren International Hospital-MBZ city. She had also offered the service of an intensivist at the hospital’s ICU during the peak of the pandemic.
What Is Muay Thai?
Not man yare familiar with the martial art of Muay Thai. That is, sometimes referred to as ‘Thai boxing.’Muay Thai is different from kickboxing because the combined use of fists, elbows, knees and shins are allowed. Whereas, you cannot use knees and elbows in kickboxing. Also known as the ‘art of eight limbs’, this form of martial art had become a favourite sport with Dr Noha four years back itself. It is an efficient tool to take out one’s stress and improve the fitness level . Some also do it for weight loss. According to Dr Noha, when they compete, they respect fellow competitors and avoid hurting each other. This pushed her to discipline herself and build self-control.
In Dr Noha’s words, the COVID-19 pandemic has created challenging new norms for the entire medical fraternity. From a personal standpoint, sports provided her with a positive avenue to recover from the physical, mental and emotional pain of the pandemic.
During the peak time of the pandemic, she experienced extreme stress levels as she doubled up as an intensivist during the peak time.
— 🎙The Milli Chronicle (@millichronicle) November 13, 2021
Having tried different sports from the time she was in Saudi Arabia since 2012, Dr Noha said she was regularly lifting weights and swimming before she found her new love for Muay Thai. Even during the pandemic, she was using the small gym at her home. She further shared that it is commendable that the country has been encouraging sports because it is good for the immune system to fight any disease and live a healthy life. When restrictions relaxed, she got back to her regular practice sessions.
The Fair Battle
Dr Noha competed for the female advanced title in the 67 kg category with two matches in each round. She defeated three competitors from different countries in the championship. This resulted in her winning a gold medal. In all three rounds, she was trying to control herself not to harm her opponents. For the champion, the goal was to score, not to harm. One ought to have a lot of self-control for that. In boxing, fighters can go to the extreme level. Throughout the match, she believed she doesn’t have to hit her to knock her out. She said she was enjoying the fame that she earned after becoming the champion. Some of her patients recognised her and they even took photos with her when they visited for consultations.