Palestine vs. AUB

Last night our family went to a Rugby game. It was the first live game we've been to here in Lebanon. The match was between the Palestine Rugby League and the American University of Beirut.

It was kind of a big deal. All sorts of high-level delegates and embassy folks were there.  Representatives from the European Union, UNRWA, and the president of AUB all gave little speeches before the match.

The speech I liked best was given by this guy, Rabie Al Masri, who founded the Palestinian Rugby League in 2008. He talked about the role of sports in the lives of kids, in communities.

It's a terrible picture, and though I'm ashamed of the quality of the photo I'm posting it anyway because I'm proud of this guy. I proud of what he set out to do in 2008 and proud of how much he has done in pursuit of that dream since then.

During the first half, I was sure AUB wouldn't be able to beat them. The Palestinian team played really well.  Their passes were a lot tighter and they were able to gain ground far more easily than the AUB team.  Also, they had a lot of support in the stands. But in the end, AUB pulled ahead and won the match.  I was surprised, but it's surprises and upsets that makes these games fun. I'm glad we went to see it.


  1. Big Rugby Fan Here!


    But - I didn't know about the Palestinean Rugby League - thanks for that!

  2. A great posting about a big-hearted man with a dream! Bravo to him!
    I wish we could see more Rugby around here!

  3. Nice post. I enjoyed it.

  4. Lief You can see more Rugby League go to www.lebrl.com where they have a bank of Beirut championship and north and Beirut schools championships annually.

  5. Amazing!!! simply amazing. Rabie al Masri can be described in 1 word " The new Salah al deen alayoubi"

  6. Hey Saad, thanks for that. I had to google Salah al deen alayoubi, and now I'm a little better informed.

  7. Okay, I googled him, too.

    Now was it Rubby League or Rugby. There is a difference. And what is an American team doing playing rugby?

    Here in Sydney one of our very best players, recently retired I think, is a chap called Hazem el Masri. He migrated to Sydney from Tripoli when he was 12. He is heavily involved with the greater Muslim community across Sydney.

  8. Julie it was rugby league played and its the more dominate code of the 2 that is mainly played in Lebanon, there is 8 team Bank of Beirut Championship where AUB has 2 division in this set up, and 2 schools competitions in the north of Lebanon and Beirut.

    where as for Hazem he has previously played for Lebanon under Cedars in early 2002 when they participated in the MED Cup against France.
    more info can be found on www.lebrl.com about rugby league in Lebanon and in the Region.