Stepping into someone else’s domain, home, country, culture or heaven forbid; religious world, requires that you tread carefully because no matter how well you get to know them and no matter how honorable your intentions, please always remember something……….

You are a guest.

And you’d better behave that way.

So writing about beautiful women from the Middle East in general and the Arab world in particular always gives rise to a pause and careful treading.

Maya Nassar is such a beautiful woman and she’s worth the risk. article, photo article, photo

Her primed for success site reports, “Maya Nassar is a leader in fitness and wellbeing. A certified sports nutritionist and personal trainer, her Start Living Right mission has propelled her to the podium in fitness modeling, and helped thousands reach the best shape of their lives.

Maya Nassar lives the transformative power of fitness. article, photo article, photo

She mounted the podium for second and third place trophies in fitness modeling at the 2015 Pure Elite UK Championships, and earned its most sought after prize: the People’s Choice Award. The year prior Maya took home first in the Bikini category. And in May 2015, she was selected a brand ambassador for the international sports retailer Decathlon.”

I was raised to be an independent woman, not the victim of anything.….Kamala Harris

A gorgeous independent woman now in sensational shape, Maya was not always that way. She used to be overweight. What helped her lose weight and get into award winning shape?

She walked the walk and applied what she preached by following her own Start Living Right Program. article, photo article, photo

She has done so well that she came to the attention of MTV which on November 3, 2015 announced, “MTV is set to welcome Fitness Instructor and Miss Bikini Fitness, Maya Nassar, to its ever-growing family.

Miss Nassar has won several accolades including three trophies at a single event that was held in London this year. She was awarded second place in the Modeling category, third place in the Body Transformation category and was voted as overall Female winner by the audience.

Miss Nassar will be hosting the workout segment on MTV Alive every Tuesday and Thursday and hopes to inspire every Lebanese woman looking to pursue a healthier lifestyle.”

Her motto is a Loser is a Winner who tried one more time.

Great advice.

Maya also makes it clear that there are different forms of fitness from the serious body building to the extreme fitness sculpting. Maya prefers to pursue balance and get into the best shape of her life yet maintain her feminine curves as well. article, photo article, photo

What motivated Maya to pursue this pathway was that previously as she ate junk food and gained weight, her jeans that she loved didn’t fit. Change was necessary.

If you desire change, Maya has a wonderful website entitled article, photo article, photo

It’s easy to watch and listen to Maya softly speak forever. For a fantastic interview and a chance to listen to the relaxed, down to earth and gorgeous Maya up close, as of this writing you can view her interview at

There you can find a step by step program that is easy to understand and follow. Her well- developed site has photo galleries, videos, inspirational advice and more.

In terms of getting stated here is what she suggests. “When it comes to successfully adhering to your body transformation program, it is essential to plan ahead and make sure that you’ll follow through no matter what else comes along. Here are some general guidelines for getting started, which should help you to stay on track.”

  1. Dedicate an afternoon to designing meal plans
  2. Cook in bulk
  3. Always plan a day before
  4. Always get back on track
  5. It’s not that hard to make time for exercise
  6. Be prepared to deal with social pressure
  7. Enjoy the journey

“Enjoy the challenges you’ll face along this journey. It’s not easy and it requires extreme dedication. However, the results you achieve and the satisfaction they bring you will be worth every second of sacrifice. There’s nothing better than feeling fit, healthy and confident.”

A well-rounded and gorgeous young woman, Maya is very involved in social issues as well.

She explains, “As a board member of animal welfare NGO Animals Lebanon, I will be launching a campaign to raise funds for the organization. I really hope all animal lovers will support me. Any donation, no matter how small, will make a big difference.

Who is Animals Lebanon? article, photo article, photo

Animals Lebanon is the foremost animal welfare organization in the Middle East. We rescue endangered species, close down abusive zoos, save thousands of animals and currently have our animal welfare law awaiting approval at parliament.

What is some of the work done by Animals Lebanon?

We launched a national campaign to protect animal welfare which has been approved by the Council of Ministers.

We have closed down three abusive zoos and rehomed more than 100 animals.

We work with sanctuaries worldwide to protect endangered species and have recently sent chimpanzees, bears, hyenas, tigers and lions abroad.”

Born to a Dutch mother and Lebanese father, interestingly Maya has traveled the world promoting her life altering fitness program but one country is missing from her globe-trotting fitness resume.

Lebanon. article, wikimedia photo article, wikimedia photo

As usual with Femcompetitor Magazine, it’s time to travel.

Lebanon is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south. Lebanon’s location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland facilitated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. article, wikimedia photo article, wikimedia photo

Women’s rights are a growing issue in Lebanon.

There was a time when men thought it was sexy to have a housewife waiting for him to come home from work in her slippers, but in modern society, I think an independent woman is even more sexy…..Kat Graham

Lebanese women are considered to have more rights and freedom compared to other women in the Arab World. Women in Lebanon are able to dress more liberally and move around with relative ease in certain parts of the country, unlike other countries in the region.

Lebanese women enjoy almost equal civil rights as men.

The operative word is almost.

Due to the large number of officially recognized religions in Lebanon, Lebanese family matters are governed by at least 15 personal statute codes. Lebanese women have legal protection that varies depending on their religion.

For example in Muslim families, marriageable age can be as young as 9 for women and polygamy is allowed. Muslim women cannot marry Christian or Jewish men. Children born to a Lebanese woman and a man from another country will not have their children granted Lebanese nationality.

As of 2009 according to Don Duncan of Le Monde Diplomatique (English edition), “With only 3.1% of seats now occupied by women, Lebanon is at the bottom of the table of parliamentary representation of women in the Middle East, down with conservative Gulf states like Oman (none), Yemen (0.3%) and Bahrain (2.7%) (2). whereas neighboring Syria has 12.4%, Tunisia has 22.8% and Iraq has a 25% quota for women.”

The informative publication adds, “In March (2014), Lebanon passed its first law criminalizing domestic violence. However, the law fell short of civil society’s demands, prompting more protests against what was seen as a strong blow to more than seven years of women’s rights advocacy work.

On March 8, International Women’s Day, over 5,000 demonstrators protested outside the Justice Palace in Beirut against what they described as “lethal inaction” by the state on the issue. The protest was hailed as one of the largest in recent memory on a social issue in Lebanon.”

The educational news source reports on January 2015, “Lebanon’s religion-based personal status laws discriminate against women across the religious spectrum and don’t guarantee their basic rights, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Lebanon has 15 separate personal status laws for its recognized religions but no civil code covering issues such as divorce, property rights, or care of children. These laws are administered by autonomous religious courts with little or no government oversight, and often issue rulings that violate women’s human rights.

The 114-page report, “Unequal and Unprotected: Women’s Rights Under Lebanon’s Religious Personal Status Laws,” found that, across all religions, personal status laws erect greater barriers for women than men who wish to terminate unhappy or abusive marriages, initiate divorce proceedings, ensure their rights concerning their children after divorce, or secure pecuniary rights from a former spouse. The laws also violate children’s rights, most significantly the need to consider their best interests in all judicial decisions concerning their welfare.”

As you can guess, given the vast number of religions in the country, unifying them under one school of thought is extremely difficult.

Be sure of yourself, don’t let anyone bully you, be a strong and independent woman or boy…….Nicole Polizzi

Researching numerous interviews with Maya it becomes clear that she does receive some electronic grief for posing in sexy fitness attire. Given her courage, independent spirit and strong belief systems, Maya moves forward undaunted.

Femcompetitor is extremely glad that through a cultural shift the world of indoor female sports uniting is a strong possibility.

With wonderful and inspiring Fem Competitors like Maya Nassar blazing trails, supporting important causes and spreading healthy information worldwide, indoor female sports unity is a dream already being fulfilled. article, photo article, photo

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Sources:, Wikipedia,, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.