The 5 Arabs competing in American League sports
This caught the eye of Spanish Giants Real Madrid, whom he signed for in 2013. He became the first Arab player to play for the team, winning the Euroleague and the Spanish League in the 2014-15 season. In 2015, the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Dallas Mavericks picked up Mejri where he continues to play as a center.
Oday Aboushi was born to Palestinian parents who immigrated to the United States from Beit Hanina. Aboushi grew up in New York and began playing college football for the University of Virginia.
In 2013, the National Football Association’s (NFL) New York Jets picked up Aboushi in the fifth round of the NFL draft. He played all pre-season games with the Jets, but failed to make it to the regular season team and was thus released from his contract in 2015. Soon after, Aboushi signed with the Houston Texans playing 11 games so far.
Justin Meram was born in Michigan in the United States to Iraqi parents who had immigrated to Detroit from Mosul. Although he was born in the US, Meram represents the Iraqi national team during international competitions.
In the beginning of his career, he played with the youth teams of Yavapai Roughriders and Michigan Wolverines, before being drafted in the 2011 by Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Columbus Crew playing as a winger. He scored a total of 25 goals in 161 appearances.
Justin Abdelkader was born in Michigan in the United States. He is of Jordanian decent as his paternal grandfather immigrated to the US when he was 19. He played amateur hockey with the Cedar Rapids Roughriders during high school, helping them win the Clark Cup, before moving on to the Michigan State Spartans during university.
He won NCAA Division 1 National Championship with Michigan State, scoring the winning goal against Boston College, earning him the Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player. In 2008, he signed for National Hockey League’s (NHL) Detroit Red Wings as a left wing.
Professional Wrestler Rami Sebei was born in Canada to Syrian parents who immigrated from Homs. Going by his ring name “Sami Zayn,” Sebei currently competes with World Wrestling Entertainment since 2013.
He started his career in 2002, wrestling in the independent circuit under the name El Generico. He is a two-time Pro-Wrestling Guerilla (PWG) World Champion and a five-time World Tag Team Champion. He is also the only person to have won both of PWG’s annual tournaments, the Dynamite Duumvirate Tag Team Title Tournament in 2010 and the Battle of Los Angeles in 2011.
By Tariq Ali Ahmad