Edition:
United States
Pictures | Mon Jul 23, 2018 | 1:50pm EDT

Egyptian women challenge social norms with Parkour

Mariam Emad from Parkour Egypt "PKE" practices her parkour skills around buildings on the outskirts of Cairo. A group of Egyptian women gather at an abandoned park in a Cairo suburb once a week, climbing walls and jumping around in the strenuous physical discipline known as Parkour, while also challenging the country's conservative social norms.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Mariam Emad from Parkour Egypt "PKE" practices her parkour skills around buildings on the outskirts of Cairo. A group of Egyptian women gather at an abandoned park in a Cairo suburb once a week, climbing walls and jumping around in the strenuous...more

Mariam Emad from Parkour Egypt "PKE" practices her parkour skills around buildings on the outskirts of Cairo. A group of Egyptian women gather at an abandoned park in a Cairo suburb once a week, climbing walls and jumping around in the strenuous physical discipline known as Parkour, while also challenging the country's conservative social norms. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Close
1 / 12
Mohamed Omran, PKE coach, watches his students. Founded in France in the 1980s as the Art du Deplacement and later taking its name from the French word 'parcours' (course or route), Parkour involves running, climbing and jumping acrobatically around buildings and over terrain.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Mohamed Omran, PKE coach, watches his students. Founded in France in the 1980s as the Art du Deplacement and later taking its name from the French word 'parcours' (course or route), Parkour involves running, climbing and jumping acrobatically around...more

Mohamed Omran, PKE coach, watches his students. Founded in France in the 1980s as the Art du Deplacement and later taking its name from the French word 'parcours' (course or route), Parkour involves running, climbing and jumping acrobatically around buildings and over terrain. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Close
2 / 12
The women have trained every week for the past six months with the eventual aim of forming the first professional Parkour team in Egypt.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

The women have trained every week for the past six months with the eventual aim of forming the first professional Parkour team in Egypt. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

The women have trained every week for the past six months with the eventual aim of forming the first professional Parkour team in Egypt. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Close
3 / 12
Ten women took part in last Friday's training, which focused on building upper body strength and different methods of dealing with surroundings. 

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Ten women took part in last Friday's training, which focused on building upper body strength and different methods of dealing with surroundings. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Ten women took part in last Friday's training, which focused on building upper body strength and different methods of dealing with surroundings. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Close
4 / 12
Curious crowds, accustomed to women taking a low profile in Egypt, often congregate to watch the training, sometimes taking pictures and filming. But the women keep up the training unhindered, insisting that no sport is exclusive for men.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Curious crowds, accustomed to women taking a low profile in Egypt, often congregate to watch the training, sometimes taking pictures and filming. But the women keep up the training unhindered, insisting that no sport is exclusive for...more

Curious crowds, accustomed to women taking a low profile in Egypt, often congregate to watch the training, sometimes taking pictures and filming. But the women keep up the training unhindered, insisting that no sport is exclusive for men. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Close
5 / 12
"It is natural that people did not accept it because they were not used to it," said Zayneb Helal, one of the players (pictured). "They did not accept the idea that girls could play sports, let alone on the street," she added.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

"It is natural that people did not accept it because they were not used to it," said Zayneb Helal, one of the players (pictured). "They did not accept the idea that girls could play sports, let alone on the street," she added. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah...more

"It is natural that people did not accept it because they were not used to it," said Zayneb Helal, one of the players (pictured). "They did not accept the idea that girls could play sports, let alone on the street," she added. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Close
6 / 12
It is uncommon for women to play such sports on the streets in Egypt. A 2017 Thomson Reuters Foundation survey of experts on how women fared in mega cities rated Cairo as the world's most dangerous megacity for women, while London came out as best.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

It is uncommon for women to play such sports on the streets in Egypt. A 2017 Thomson Reuters Foundation survey of experts on how women fared in mega cities rated Cairo as the world's most dangerous megacity for women, while London came out as...more

It is uncommon for women to play such sports on the streets in Egypt. A 2017 Thomson Reuters Foundation survey of experts on how women fared in mega cities rated Cairo as the world's most dangerous megacity for women, while London came out as best. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Close
7 / 12
Guided by coach Mohamed Omran (pictured), women train hard on climbing obstacles, landing correctly after jumps and seeing opportunities in buildings around them. "Women are now training and more women are starting to come," Omran said. "As the sport spreads the acceptance of women training increases and it is not unusual for women to have a team and train," he added.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Guided by coach Mohamed Omran (pictured), women train hard on climbing obstacles, landing correctly after jumps and seeing opportunities in buildings around them. "Women are now training and more women are starting to come," Omran said. "As the sport...more

Guided by coach Mohamed Omran (pictured), women train hard on climbing obstacles, landing correctly after jumps and seeing opportunities in buildings around them. "Women are now training and more women are starting to come," Omran said. "As the sport spreads the acceptance of women training increases and it is not unusual for women to have a team and train," he added. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Close
8 / 12
Parkour is played by men in Egypt but the sport is neglected and has no regulatory body. Parkour Egypt, a group that comprises men and women, has grown exponentially after starting off with a handful of players.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Parkour is played by men in Egypt but the sport is neglected and has no regulatory body. Parkour Egypt, a group that comprises men and women, has grown exponentially after starting off with a handful of players. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Parkour is played by men in Egypt but the sport is neglected and has no regulatory body. Parkour Egypt, a group that comprises men and women, has grown exponentially after starting off with a handful of players. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Close
9 / 12
An Egyptian woman from PKE practices. Last year Britain became the first country officially to recognize Parkour as a sport.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

An Egyptian woman from PKE practices. Last year Britain became the first country officially to recognize Parkour as a sport. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

An Egyptian woman from PKE practices. Last year Britain became the first country officially to recognize Parkour as a sport. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Close
10 / 12
An Egyptian woman from PKE practices. "It needs more time to evolve and the sport needs to spread more so that people would learn about it," said Zayneb Helal, one of the players.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

An Egyptian woman from PKE practices. "It needs more time to evolve and the sport needs to spread more so that people would learn about it," said Zayneb Helal, one of the players. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

An Egyptian woman from PKE practices. "It needs more time to evolve and the sport needs to spread more so that people would learn about it," said Zayneb Helal, one of the players. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Close
11 / 12
Mariam Emad from PKE practices. 

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Mariam Emad from PKE practices. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Mariam Emad from PKE practices. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Close
12 / 12

Next Slideshows

Comic-Con costumes

Highlights from the annual Comic-Con gathering in San Diego.

Jul 23 2018

Tropical storm lashes Vietnam

Floods triggered by heavy rains hit northern Vietnam after tropical storm Son Tinh made landfall.

Jul 23 2018

Slums demolished for new Kenyan road

Bulldozers demolish dozens of houses to make way for a new road in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya.

Jul 23 2018

Eating in virtual reality

The "TREE BY NAKED, yoyogi park" restaurant in Tokyo incorporates virtual reality, projection mapping, and music to enhance diners' enjoyment of their food.

Jul 19 2018

MORE IN PICTURES

Under Genoa's collapsed bridge

Under Genoa's collapsed bridge

The Morandi bridge, which collapsed and killed at least 38 people, looms over apartments and warehouses in the restricted "red zone" in Genoa, Italy.

Journey to Mecca

Journey to Mecca

Muslim faithful make the annual haj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.

Highest-paid actresses

Highest-paid actresses

The world's 10 highest-paid actresses in 2018, according to Forbes.

Clashes on the Israel-Gaza border

Clashes on the Israel-Gaza border

Palestinians continue their protests demanding the right to return to their homeland at the Israel-Gaza border.

Caught at the U.S.-Mexico border

Caught at the U.S.-Mexico border

Border patrol agents apprehend migrants caught illegally crossing the U.S. border from Mexico near Los Ebanos, Texas.

Mourning Aretha Franklin

Mourning Aretha Franklin

Fans of Aretha Franklin come together in cities across the U.S. to pay their respects to the Queen of Soul.

Recreating the happiest day

Recreating the happiest day

Elderly couples, who have been married for more than 50 years, recreate their wedding photos ahead of the Qixi festival, also known as Chinese Valentine's Day.

Aretha Franklin: 1942 - 2018

Aretha Franklin: 1942 - 2018

Aretha Franklin, the long-reigning Queen of Soul, dies at age 76.

Photos of the week

Photos of the week

Our top photos from the past week.

Trending Collections

Pictures

Podcast