Arab African International Bank goes beyond merely sponsoring El Gouna International Squash Open.
While it may not be as big as, say, football, squash is a huge source of pride for the Egyptians. This pride was clear at the 7th round of El Gouna International Squash Open, one of the top 7 squash tournaments in the world, sponsored by Arab African International Bank (AAIB), since 2010.
The support didn’t go unnoticed – Egyptians completely dominated the tournament. AAIB’s support of the tournament goes beyond merely sponsoring it. Hassan Abdalla, CEO of AAIB said: “Sponsoring the tournament for all its seven rounds goes beyond financial support. The bank had a vision of highlighting Egypt’s leadership in Squash to the whole world. AAIB’s objective was also to assist Egyptian champions to maintain this leadership". “The bank’s support was clear to see through their digital promotions on Facebook, posts, images, live videos, stories and different engaging video content pieces, creating more excitement and support to our local champions. The support was clear to see even before the tournament started, with AAIB highlighting Egypt’s successful history in squash, like in the video below. If you want to see more, head out to their Facebook, Instagram & Twitter to check it out.
Both men’s and women’s finals were strictly-Egyptian; Ali Farag and Marwan El Shourbagy battled it out in final, with Marwan taking it in 3 games. Marwan El Shourbagy said: “I started the season losing the first round in Shanghai and then the semi-final of the U.S. Open. To turn the season around and win six World Series tournaments in a row is just a dream for me.” He added: “I cannot believe that I have just done that.”
Raneem Al Walily came back from a game down to clinch the title against youngest ever world number one Nour El Sherbiny. El Sherbiny is truly a prodigy, winning the World Championship at the tender age of 13.
The men’s semi-final was an all-Egyptian affair too, with brothers Mohamed and Marwan El Shorbagy battling it out in a really tight match for a place in the final. The other men’s semi-final was equally as tight, and saw Farag finally book his place in the final by beating the Frenchman Gregory Gaultier 3 games to 2.
AAIB CEO Hassan Abdalla was present at the event, and was delighted to hand out trophies and prize money to the winner.
Today, squash is the second most competitive sport in Egypt, attracting some of the country’s best athletes. Egyptians dominate squash rankings - 6 Egyptian men and 4 Egyptian women are in the top 10 worldwide. The men have been awarded "PSA player of the year" 8 times in the last 13 years. The women have won it four times in total, consecutively in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. This means that Egypt now has the world number one both in the men’s division and in women. Really something to be proud of.