Zakiya Nassar

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Zakia Nassar
Personal information
Full name Zakiya Nassar
Nationality  Palestine
Born (1987-04-02) April 2, 1987 (age 30)
Bethlehem, Palestine
Height 1.62 m (5 ft 4 in)
Sport Swimming
Strokes Freestyle

Zakiya Nassar, sometimes spelled "Zakia" (Arabic: زكية نصار‎‎), born April 2, 1987 in Bethlehem, Palestine),[1] is an Olympic swimmer from Palestine.[2]

She represented Palestine at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. In the lead-up to the Games, her coach, relayed by the media, commented that Nassar faced severe difficulties in training, due to her lack of access to a swimming pool. The Globe and Mail reported that "[t]here is no Olympic-sized pool in the Palestinian territories and no budget to speak of for the Palestinian Olympic swimmers".[1] Nassar told the media that she was receiving no support from the Palestinian authorities, that she was able to swim once a month "at best", and that she feared a disastrous performance in Beijing.[3][4] The Israeli authorities subsequently granted her authorisation to swim in a pool in Jerusalem.[5]

Nassar won her heat in the 50 metre freestyle event, but her time of 31.97 was not sufficient for her to advance to the next round.[6]

Nassar lives in Bethlehem and, as of 2008, is studying dentistry at the Arab American University in Jenin.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "For Palestinian swimmers, it's a chance to swim", Globe and Mail, July 7, 2008
  2. ^ Nassar's bio from the 2008 Olympics website; retrieved 2009-07-09.
  3. ^ "JEUX OLYMPIQUES: Les Palestiniens à rude épreuve", Courier international
  4. ^ "From Jenin to Beijing", Ynetnews, April 5, 2008
  5. ^ "Palestinian Olympic runner receives exit permit", Ynetnews, April 8, 2008
  6. ^ "Beijing's youngest is leader of the laggards", Reuters, August 15, 2008