After the regime change in 2011, Libyan women aspired to play an active role in society particularly in civil society. I met an extraordinary civil society activist called Arwa in Tripoli in 2013. Arwa works in the relief sector with the UNHCR. She introduced me to the slums of Tripoli and helped me highlight the issues present in Tripoli's Old City (Medina). When I got to know Arwa more, I discovered the Iron woman she is. That is when I decided to follow her story as the first Libyan female I know that took up boxing as a hobby. Boxing was banned in Libya until 2011 and Arwa took the chance to train and encourage Libyan women to discover this sport and take it as a hobby.
Arwa was training in a Mens only gym in Tripoli and despite the challenges she met during her visits, she kept on training until one day she decided to quit the gym and move to a Womens only gym due to an incident of harassment.
Once Arwa moved to a Womens only gym, she ran boxing classes for Libyan girls in her spare time. Eventually, she left the country as her work relocated in 2014. She is currently doing cross-fit and still working for the UN mission in the MENA region.