Dr. Nihad Albatikhi, a pioneer in women’s sports in her native Jordan, is at LC for the 2013-14 academic year to compare her country’s sports and wellness programs for women with those in the US.
Dr. Albatikhi is interested not only in sports, but the importance of exercise for fitness and good health. “We have too much stress — all of us,” she said.
The Jordanian Table Tennis Champion for most of the 1970s and 80s, Dr. Albatikhi represented her country in numerous international championships. She started the first and only sports club for women, for which she is now president, and the first women’s soccer team in Jordan in 1994.
An associate professor of physical education at the University of Jordan, Dr. Albatikhi said she was looking for a US college to do her research when a colleague in Canada suggested University of Lynchburg, thanks to a connection with Dr. Lindsay Pieper, assistant professor of sport management at LC.
Dr. Albatikhi said Dr. Pieper, Dr. Alexi Akulli, director of LC’s Center for Global Studies, and many others have made her feel at home and she loves the tranquil nature of a smaller campus. Between 40,000 and 45,000 students attend the University of Jordan.
Dr. Albatikhi is in Lynchburg with her husband, Abdullah Suboh, a retired engineer. They have four grown sons, one of whom lives in Los Angeles, one in Jordan, and two in Dubai.
While at LC, Dr. Albatikhi will attend classes and watch sporting events as part of her research. She also hopes to improve her English and offer Arabic lessons to anyone who is interested.
While she is familiar with most US sports, lacrosse is not one she has heard of. Come springtime, she will have many opportunities to learn about that Native American sport at LC.
Dr. Albatikhi is recipient of King Abdullah II’s Independence Medal in 1999 and was a member of the Higher Committee for the Hussein Arab League, chaired by Prince Faisal Bin Al Hussein.
She earned her BA (1975) and PhD (2000) from Helwan University in Cairo and her master’s from the University of Jordan in 1994.
As a mother of four, Dr. Albatikhi knows well the difficulty women face juggling family and career, but she also emphasizes how important it is for women to be educated and equal so they can raise children who will grow up to take better care of the world.