Egyptian football player Mohamed Salah has been included in Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2019. The celebrated Liverpool forward, a practicing Muslim, recently announced that men in his country and across cultures should “treat women with more respect.”
Salah is an icon in Egypt after he led his country to the FIFA World Cup in 2018 for the first time after 28 years.
In encountering other cultures, Salah said that it has affected the way he perceives gender roles and relations.
Hollywood TV personality, John Oliver, described Salah as “a better human being than he is a football player. And he’s one of the best football players in the world.”
“Mo is an iconic figure for Egyptians, Scousers and Muslims the world over, and yet he always comes across as a humble, thoughtful, funny man who isn’t taking any of this too seriously,” Oliver wrote.
In an interview, Salah stated that “I support the woman more than I did before, because I feel like she deserves more than what they give her now, at the moment. That has to be; it’s not optional.”
The 26-year-old athlete admitted that he is both excited but somewhat pressured to be a role model. Salah has a five-year-old daughter whom he loves spending time with after a tiring game.
— Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) March 31, 2019
Violence against women in Egypt is rampant, and an alarming number of girls and women are still subjected to harassment, assault, and the practice of female genital mutilation.
Other persons included in Time’s 2019 list of most influential people include tennis superstar Naomi Osaka, K-pop group BTS, former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, and US president Donald Trump./TISG