Featured Columnist of the Month: Mohamed Al-Hendy
Mohamed Al-Hendy spent the majority of his childhood bouncing around areas where pucks and pigskin reigned supreme.
Yet here he is, Bleacher Report’s Featured Columnist of the Month for July, after helping dominate B/R’s coverage of the recent Euro 2012, which features a football of the round variety.
Al-Hendy grew up in various regions of Canada and then, from age 9, Houston. Now he lives in Nashville. But how soccer became his first love and he’s become a flourishing scribe on the sport make perfect sense to him.
“My roots are all Egyptian. If there’s one thing about, Egypt it’s that they’re absolutely crazy about their soccer,” he said. “It’s just always been in my life. I was always on my dad’s team or he was driving me to practices. I moved to Houston when I was 9 and everyone was into a lot of other sports instead of soccer.
“And when I was in Canada before that, at the time, soccer was even less popular there.”
It was his roots and upbringing that helped him pick a European side, Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League, to follow and further his interest of the sport.
“I can’t remember exactly what match it was, but one of the first Spurs matches I saw had three Arab players on the team, Hossam Ghaly, Mido and Adel Taarabt,” he said. “It made it a lot easier to have a few players to connect to and latch on to right away.”
The former two are Egyptian with the latter being of Moroccan descent.
“Most of the Arab players play in their own domestic leagues,” Al-Hendy said. “It was pretty unheard of to have three playing on the same team at the top level. Of course, after they sold Mido, I still followed Robbie Keane and just kind of stuck with Tottenham.”
The rising senior at Vanderbilt—who is double majoring in Political Science and Medicine and Health and Society and comes from a long line of doctors—never really considered sports journalism a serious career path. Instead, he’s contemplating going to law school, getting into some form of public health law down the line.
After seeing a Bleacher Report article written by one of his friends posted on Facebook, he decided to apply to publish on B/R last June in an attempt to quell his summertime boredom. Since then, he’s amassed more than 1.5 million reads and his fair share of accolades.
Although he picked it up just as a hobby, his efforts and talents haven’t been lost on his editors.
“Mohamed came to our attention through his consistently good output on the world football section,” said Will Tidey, Bleacher Report’s World Football Editor and Lead Writer. “He’s a very good writer with a keen eye for detail and an excellent understanding of the subject matter.
“That, combined with his active presence in the B/R writer community, prompted us to take him on in a part-time paid role in 2012. Through our Euro 2012 coverage, his value has shone through and we hope to keep him on board for the foreseeable future.”
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Sean Swaby is Bleacher Report’s Featured Columnist Coordinator.