By Heba Zoabi - November 10, 2015

Originally appeared here in i24news

Anoush Belian holds the title of Israel’s Miss Fitness 2015. Not only is she the first Palestinian to win the Israeli competition, but she is also the first Palestinian woman to choose to compete in a bodybuilding competition.

Up to a year ago, Belian led a completely normal life. She studied English at the Armenian School in Jerusalem and worked in various fields, including teaching English. But last year, at age 27, the young East Jerusalemite decided it was time for a challenge. Her chosen field - weightlifting.

She joined a gym run by the person who later became her personal trainer, Basel Saeed, and went on an intensive regimen, diet and all.

The training sessions cut Belian off from her family and friends, and even her mother's cooking which she had to give up as part of the diet she made for herself in order to reach her goal - to compete in Israel’s National Amateur Bodybuilders Association (NABBA). Read More