Lebanese chess player refuses to compete against Israeli rival at Abu Dhabi international tournament

Israel was once again snubbed at a sporting event as a young Lebanese chess player decided to leave the 28th edition of the Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival in the United Arab Emirates to avoid facing a Israeli adversary.

Lebanese junior chess champion Nadia Fawaz has made the decision to withdraw from the fourth round of competitions in the Emirati capital because the draw prepared her to face a competitor from the Israeli regime.

Fawaz defeated Brunei’s Wafa Yacoub in their first encounter, before beating Saudi Arabia’s Ziad Saleh Abdali. The Lebanese chess player then defeated Emirati competitor Wafia Darwish al-Maamari and proceeded to the next match.

The chess player said she refused to compete against the Israeli player in the Abu Dhabi tournament because Israel is an enemy.

The girl added that she took this decision as a sign of solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian nation and condemning the attempts of a number of Arab countries to normalize their diplomatic relations with the regime in Tel Aviv.

The 28th edition of the Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival kicked off in the United Arab Emirates on August 16 and will end on August 25.

The development comes just days after a young Lebanese mixed martial arts fighter announced his withdrawal from the 2022 International Youth Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) World Championships in the United Arab Emirates to avoid a face an Israeli opponent in international competitions.

On August 18, the Lebanese Arabic-language TV news channel al-Mayadeen reported that Charbel Abou Daher had withdrawn from the sporting event in Abu Dhabi after the draw placed him against his Israeli rival Yonatan. Mak in a 48 kilogram weight class contest for youth B.

Earlier this month, Iraqi tennis stars Nasr Mahdi and Mohammad al-Mahdi withdrew from the Bucharest 2022 wheelchair tennis tournament in Romania to avoid playing against Israeli competitors.

Iraqi Tennis Federation President Majid al-Ugaili said in a statement Aug. 11 that the draw puts them on track for a reckoning against an Israeli pair. The Iraqi seeds then decided to withdraw from the event.

On July 31, the Palestinian Information Center reported that Jordanian taekwondo fighter Maysir al-Dahamsheh avoided a showdown against an Israeli rival at the 2022 World Cadet and Junior Taekwondo Championships in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia.

The Jordanian taekwondo player was unable to clinch the tournament’s bronze medal after withdrawing from the competition in protest at the normalization of relations between some Arab countries and Israel.

In recent years, an increasing number of athletes from Arab and Muslim countries have avoided facing Israeli opponents in international competitions in support of the Palestinian cause.

They see the participation of Israeli athletes in sporting events as a plan to help the Tel Aviv regime gradually normalize its relations with Muslim and Arab nations despite its brutal occupation of Palestine and its relentless crimes against the Palestinians.

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