Co-Founder of Women’s Football in Palestine
“In Palestine, football is a platform and a voice to communicate a different story to the rest of the world; a story not about death and misery but a story of endurance, team work, enjoyment, and a celebration of life. I hope for peace and justice. I want to see Palestinians treated as equals.”
Most football fans in the Arab world would struggle to name the captain of Palestine’s men’s football team, but ask them who led the country’s first-ever women’s team and they will roar out her name in unified pride.
Honey Thaljieh grew up in Bethlehem, Palestine where football was not considered a sport fit for girls.
Honey broke through all the barriers of both political oppression and societal norms and co-founded women’s football in Palestine. She is the first captain of the Palestinian national football team; the first woman in the Middle East to obtain a FIFA Master and to be employed by FIFA. Honey is a role model and an inspiration to women and girls throughout the Arab world.
Following a series of career-ending knee injuries, Honey redirected her efforts and decided to use her celebrity status to empower the next generation. Through her extensive network of partnerships, she has created, developed and maintained sports initiatives for thousands of boys and girls throughout the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Honey’s impact in Palestine continues as a member of the Supreme Council of Youth and Sport.
Two years ago Honey moved to Zurich for her work as Manager of Corporate Communications for FIFA, which provides support to more than 400 projects in 79 nations in the areas of education and health, gender equality, life skills and peace initiatives through sport.
Honey is also recognized as a Champion of Peace by the organization Peace and Sport, headquartered in Monaco. She has spoken at many prestigious international organizations, including the United Nations and UNESCO, among others.
BASED IN: Zurich, Switzerland
LANGUAGES: Arabic and English
HONEY ON SCREEN