INTERVIEW: Ali Farag, Mohamed El Shorbagy, and Nouran Gohar Get Real About Mental Health

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- Yasmine El Tohamy - Mental Health Ambassador Ally Salama interviewed Egyptian Squash Superstars Ali Farag, Mohamed El Shorbagy, and Nouran Gohar and talked about the misconceptions surrounding mental health in the Middle East and the importance of having a good support system during a pre-interview for SportsMENTA.

In collaboration with KingFut, SportsMENTA recognizes the power and influence sports have on culture.

This event aims to highlight the ways in which sports address mental health, attack mental health, and enhance our well-being.

During the first interview, Ally Salama interviewed World No.1 Ali Farag and discussed the importance of increasing awareness regarding this topic in sports.

“As much as talent is important and hard work is important, I think if you are working hard without the right mindset or if you are not disciplined enough, you can never achieve success in any field of life,” said Ali Farag.

“As World No.1, there’s always a lot of pressure on you, so if you’re not well prepared mentally it’s going to be really hard.”

Photo: PSA World Tour

“When you’re looking for a good support sytem, you have to know the person you’re talking to and make sure they know what they’re talking about.” he added.

During the second interview, Ally Salama interviewed the World No.2 Mohamed El Shorbagy and discussed the challenges a top athlete faces and how he must be able to overcome them.

“No matter how hard you train, no matter how talented you are, it doesn’t matter unless you’re mentally in the right state of mind.” said Mohamed El Shorbagy.

“It’s important to have the right team behind you, so when you go in hard situations, it’s important to have people you are able to speak with. No matter how strong you are, you need people to speak with – people that you trust and have your back and support you throughout the whole journey.

Photo: PSA World Tour

“For example, personally I had a lot of injuries. So during the months of recovery it’s crucial to have a strong support system.” he added.

During the third interview, Ally Salama interviwed the World No.2 Nouran Gohar and discussed her view on mental health and how it affects her performances.

“It’s a topic that is underrated that we do not talk much about. It is one of the most essential topics that you have mention as an athlete. Your mental health, being mentally fit, and healthy is very important for us as athletes. If you’re not mentally strong, you will not be able to compete on a high level.” said Nouran Gohar.

“As squash players, we always say that squash is all about tactics, mental and physical aspect as well. The mental aspect is 80%-90% of the game. It’s huge and it’s super important to talk about.”

“The key of being in a good mental state is to try and isolate yourself from any sort of negativity. You shouldn’t let this negative energy change your mood.”

“Athletes have a very specific routine and meet a lot of people everyday and I think to go through it you have to always remain positive and take things lightly as much as you can.”

Nouran Gohar moves two places in PSA World Rankings for October
Photo: PSA World Tour

“We all have issues and there’s nothing embarrassing about that. But we must be able to share and take other people’s opinions.” she added.

Have a chance to listen to these tremendous athletes and more Live at the First Sports & Mental Health Conference in the MENA.

On Jan 14, 2021, SportsMENTA is being hosted for the first time ever via

The lineup of athlete panelists include: Ali Farag, Mohamed El Shorbagy, Nouran Gohar and Kanzy El Dafrawy.

Learn from world leading athletes on the power of sports in bridging the gap between peak performance & mental health.

The power of sports is often not recognized in a world where it’s often viewed merely as entertainment.

That’s why SportaMENTA is bringing together some of the world’s most powerful athletes together to open the dialogue around mental health in sports.

It’ll be an epic event that you wouldn’t want to miss out on! So what are you waiting for?


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