Line umpire becomes first Arab woman official at Wimbledon

Line umpire becomes first Arab woman official at Wimbledon
This year’s Championships at the All England Club have seen Aseel Shaheen become the first women of Arab decent to officiate at the Grand Slam tennis event.
1 min read
06 July, 2015
For the first time in history an Arab woman is officiating at Wimbledon [Sport360]
A line umpire has become the first Arab woman to referee at the world’s oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament Wimbledon.

Kuwaiti Aseel Shaheen told Sport360, “It’s an indescribable feeling being here. It’s something big, it’s a challenge. I’m the first female from the Arab world to be an umpire at Wimbledon.

I was worried that they wouldn’t accept me because I wear a hijab but on the contrary, they really accepted me,” added the 41-year-old.

Shaheen said although London is hijab friendly, the Islamic veil worn by Muslim women has yet to become a common sight on in the tennis world.

“But me wearing the hijab and working on court during a tennis match at Wimbledon is a sign that the world is starting to accept us more,” She added.

The former swimming coach began officiating tennis matches after taking a course in 2002, since then she has umpired at the ATP and WTA events in Doha and last year had her first experience at Wimbledon qualifying.