Sarah Khefaji from Egypt Wins the Arab Crown of Fitness Dubai 2023
In a groundbreaking moment for the United Arab Emirates, Sarah Khefaji, a young Egyptian with a captivating voice and remarkable talent, has emerged as the winner of the Arab Crown of Fitness Dubai 2023. The prestigious competition, organized by ISense and managed by Iman Abu Nakad in collaboration with poet Saham Al Sha'sha, marks the first time the event has been held in Dubai after six successful years in Beirut, under the patronage of Sheikha Fatima Bint Hashr Bin Dalmouk Al Maktoum.
The grand event, held at the Habtoor Palace Hotel on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, was organized in partnership with the BSC Center, led by Dr. Haytham Fawwal, a specialist in obesity surgery, and the White & Black Company. The event adhered to all the official laws and regulations of the host country.
A Panel of Experts Evaluates and Selects
The ceremony, hosted by Lebanese media personality Liliane Naassi, began with the national anthems of Lebanon and the UAE, followed by an introduction to the esteemed judging panel. The panel consisted of renowned doctors and surgeons from the Arab world, as well as leading figures in the field of fitness and health.
The panel members included Dr. Sabah Al Ashqar from the UAE, Dr. Haytham Fawwal from Lebanon, Dr. Abdul Salam Al Ta'i from the UAE, Dr. Sultan Al Tamayat from Saudi Arabia, Dr. Mohamed Diaa Serhan from Egypt, Dr. Yasser Al Jibouri from Iraq, Dr. Saqr Al Ma'ala from the UAE, Dr. Mohamed Abu Arabi from the UAE, Dr. Bassem Al Halabi from the UAE, Dr. Mustafa Ibn Zahr from Morocco, Mrs. Mirna Younes, and Mr. Abdullah Jamal Abdullah from the UAE.
Introduction to the Contestants
The event began with an introductory video showcasing the 11 contestants who represented Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Tunisia, and Algeria. The video highlighted their transformation from obesity to fitness, symbolizing the journey from despair to hope, health, and a vibrant life.
The contestants made two appearances on stage. The first showcased vibrant summer and spring-inspired outfits, while the second featured royal evening gowns designed by the talented Lebanese fashion designer Nada Al Aour.
Another informative video was presented, introducing the event's sponsors and the prizes that would be awarded to the winner of the Arab Crown of Fitness Health Award, as well as the runner-ups and other honorary awards.
A Night of Musical Delight
The event was attended by celebrities, business figures, and media personalities, along with many distinguished guests. The captivating Lebanese artist Salim Assaf mesmerized the audience with his soulful voice and enchanting melodies. He performed his new song titled "Qalbi Hadeed" (My Heart is Iron) and later delighted the crowd with a rendition of his famous hit song "Jamalo."
Other performances included the Syrian singer Farah Youssef, who gained fame after participating in the second season of the Arab Idol program in 2013. She captivated the audience with her live performance, showcasing her versatility in both Arabic and Western music.
As a surprise highlight of the evening, the Kuwaiti contestant Rahaf, formerly a member of the band "Guitara," performed her song "Ya Ghali Anshaghel Bali." Additionally, the Egyptian contestant Sarah Khefaji delivered a stunning performance with her authentic Egyptian singing style.
Honoring Those Deserving Recognition
During the event, Dr. Ayed Al-Qahtani, a renowned surgeon from Saudi Arabia and one of the most esteemed experts in the Arab world in the field of obesity surgery, was honored. He was presented with the Arab Crown of Fitness Health Award (ACOF Health Award) by Mariam Othman, the chairperson of the Rashed Foundation for People of Determination.
Recognizing the importance of media and the role of social media platforms in shedding light on personal journeys of overcoming weight issues and societal bullying, the Influencer Fitness Award (IFA) was introduced. Dr. Yasser Jibouri presented the award to the influential Iraqi personality Jihan Al-Hashem.
Questions and Conclusion of a Healthful Evening
As a healthy body resides in a healthy mind, a segment of questions was included to assess the awareness, understanding, and perception of the contestants regarding the significance of the competition and the importance of combating obesity and spreading awareness.
The titles awarded to the winners are as follows:
1. 1st Runner Up: Celine Naimeh (Lebanon)
2. 2nd Runner Up: Hala Samawi (Jordan)
3. Miss I did it: Mariam Khaled (Egypt)
4. Miss Photogenic: Dr. Marah Al-Atarash (Saudi Arabia)
In conclusion, the Arab Crown of Fitness Dubai 2023 was a remarkable event that celebrated health, fitness, and personal transformations. Sarah Khefaji's win as the Arab Crown of Fitness is a testament to her talent, dedication, and commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle. This event showcased the power of determination and the positive impact of fitness on individuals and society as a whole.