Established running clubs can be found in nearly every town across America. Not so much in Palestine. In fact, the country’s first running club, the Palestine Marathon Training group, was founded just last spring in anticipation of the inaugural Right to Movement Palestine Marathon.
The marathon, which consists of four loops in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, was inspired by the United Nations' declaration that all people have the fundamental "right to movement," according to the Christian Science Monitor.
The race—and the now well-known running club—helps Palestinians overcome the struggles of living under Israeli occupation. The club has nearly 600 members on its Facebook page and is a source of inspiration for athletes of all levels.
Everywhere else in the world, “a running group is just a running group,” marathon organizer George Zeidan told the Monitor, “In Palestine, we run for the freedom of movement in general, and for my female friends who still cannot move freely.”
The second annual Right to Movement Palestine Marathon will be held on April 11.