Only a few weeks after we announced our first ever ambassadors across our Girls that Scuba channels, one of the biggest brands in the world - Nike - contacted us to find out more about these incredible water women, their stories and what drew them to scuba diving.
Nike then headed to Kuwait to meet with Girls that Scuba ambassador Mariam Al Saif to find out more about her story and the passion she has for encouraging more women into scuba diving, in this story originally published on nike.com for their series 'My Back Garden' Mariam tells the world more about her love for diving..
"Mariam's love for the water is in her DNA. She traces her Kuwaiti ancestry back to a long line of divers who retrieved precious pearls to sell to merchants. "[They] held their breath for five minutes at a time with no mask and no snorkel", she says. "I'm able to stay down for 10 times as long as they could, but I still feel that connection. They got to see the land underneath that I am now getting to see"."
"It is a male-dominated industry. It is, no question", says Mariam, adding that her work is about "bridging that gap in regards to the inequality and just saying that women deserve to be here just as much as men". She hopes to change this with Mer and as an ambassador for Girls That Scuba, a women-only community with a mission to introduce more women to scuba diving while empowering those already in the sport''
"Once in the water, all the weight disappears. It's meditative", explains Mariam. "There's no difference between us and the fish". While exploring the depths of the Arabian Gulf, they find coral reefs brimming with vibrant fish and plant life. "It gives you a whole new appreciation for the fragility of our oceans", she says. "We shouldn't let climate change stop future generations from experiencing the joy of scuba diving".
Words: Jiya Pinder
Photography: Maha Alasaker and Maryam ALMasha’an