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See Why This Roller Skating Girl Squad Is the First of Its Kind

Roller Derby is not a typical activity for women in Lebanon. However, a small group of students at the American University in Beirut decided to form the country’s first team. Played on quad roller skates, this full-contact team sport requires agility and focus. These pioneering women are as passionate about their studies as they are for the sport. All but two teammates are part of the school's intensely competitive scholarship program, one that helps talented students pursue future leadership roles in politically volatile Arab nations.

In this short film by Huck Magazine, business student Hadeel Al-Hubaishi shares her personal struggles outside of the rink. Anxious about her family and friends back home in war-torn Yemen, Roller Derby is a way for Hubaishai—or 'Shiny Tiny' as she is called by her teammates—to find an escape through friendship and laughter.

The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the world and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. To submit a film for consideration, please email The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.