Zainab Al‑Eqabi


Zainab Al-Eqabi was 7 years old when an undetonated bomb dating back to the Gulf War went off in her family’s garden in Baghdad, Iraq, severely injuring her, her father and her sister. A subsequent medical error left the young Al-Eqabi with an amputation to her left leg, changing the course of her life forever. Her family relocated to the UAE in 2001 for her father’s business, and decided to stay as her parents wanted to raise their four children in a stable environment away from the war in Iraq. It was during her time at the University of Sharjah that she discovered swimming as a way to ease the back pain that her prosthetic leg was causing her – and so, she discovered the freeing power of physical activity. Since then, the now 31-year-old has taken on challenge after challenge, from skydiving, hiking and scuba diving to hauling a 2,000-kilo Jeep during the 2020 Dubai Fitness Challenge. “Adrenaline is life”, says Al-Eqabi, who inspires over 1.6 million Instagram followers by documenting her no-holds-barred life on the social media platform.