Introduction of who you are My name is Majda Chebaraka, I’m 18 years old and I’m from Algeria. How did you get into swimming? I started swimming at the age of 5/6 in Algeria. At first I didn’t like to enter the water for fear, but over time, I finally fell in love with the aquatic atmosphere. What are your favorite events? For now, my favorite competition was the Africa Games in September 2015 in Congo. Which countries/ competitions have you swam in? I have already swam in Brazil (2012,2013,2014,2015,2016),(championship of Brazil by category and all categories), French Championship (2013/2014/2015), Canadian Championship (2012)Junior World Championship in Singapore (2015), Arab Championship by category in Egypt (2017), Arab League in Jordan (2012/2013)Arab League in Dubai (2015/2016). What is the most challenging part of swimming? I think the most challenging part of swimming is having to wake up very early in the morning to go swimming before going to school (4 am). But it is also the psychological because of the pressure of all those around us and stress because of our goals that we would like to achieve. But also, try to study with the tiredness of morning workouts. Any funny stories regarding your swimming career? I think every competition always has a funny part. I remember that when we went to Congo and at the opening ceremony, there were a lot of countries dancing and singing and that gave such a wonderful and pleasant atmosphere. I really liked that day. But otherwise, all the time spent with my friends and all the new knowledge that we make in competitions are so niceeeee. Were there times when you felt like giving up? If so, how did you get out of it? Many times, since I was swimming, I had the urge to give up because I could not manage swimming and studying anymore. But the worst is when you train so hard, that you wake up very early in the morning, that you finish very late at night for the next day, repeat the same routine, not to mention the studies between both practices, and that we don’t improve during the competitions it's really hard. We feel all our world crumble. But it's in these moments that the psychological plays its role, that we have to be really strong and say that this is only a phase,a stage of life and sport, that must be overcome our pain and surpass ourself to be able to pass this stage, and once we pass this hard step, and well we move to the next step and so on. Have you ever been criticized about being a female swimmer in the Muslim world? I have been criticized several times for being a girl swimming in a Muslim country because inevitably there are injustices between girls and boys. I have heard many people say that swimming wasn’t a girl's sport because girls didn’t have to show their legs or simply put on a swimsuit. But we are in a world that evolves every day, that is to say that women are now valued and equal to men in some aspects and this makes me so happy and encourages me to always want to give more especially for my country because we understand that women deserve to have the same rights as men. What advice would you give young girls starting swimming? Girls, I give you one advice: be strong and don’t let anyone tell you what to do and not do, or a stranger belittle you or tell you that you can never do anything because you are a woman, don’ let anyone say that a woman is weak compared to the man. Nowadays, we see that women are able to do things even harder than men, and there is a lot of sport as football and rugby, where we see that even sports that seem masculine are now practiced by women. This proves that we are evolving and that women are becoming equal to men. What are your future goals/ ambitions? My goals are to do the Olympic Games in Tokyo and Paris, as well as the world championships. How does it feel to represent your country? Represent his country is always an honor for me. Whenever I get on the first step of the podium and I see my flag go up and I hear the national anthem of my country, this gives me goosebumps and tears in my eyes.