13 Beautiful Photos Of Sports In The Middle East

middle east sports amid chaos, flares in egypt

Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images

A little-known Iranian soccer league found itself in the news today after a player narrowly missed blowing his hand off with a grenade that was thrown onto the field.Beyond the shock value, the video is a reminder that sports — professional and otherwise — go on in the Middle East despite the ebbs and flows of civil unrest.

We pulled 13 beautiful photos that, when taken together, give you a good idea of what sports is like in the region.

Yes, sometimes outside violences leaks onto the field of play. But more often than not sports is a sanctuary from the outside world, and looks almost like it does in the rest of the world.

AFGHANISTAN: Cricket players celebrate a wicket

IRAN: A device explodes on the field in a game between North Korea and Iran

QATAR: Fans of Gharafa chat during a regular season club soccer game

EGYPT: An Egypt fan celebrates a goal by lifting a flare

ISRAEL: Fans of Beitar Jerusalem celebrate the same way

IRAQ: Iraqis cheer at a friendly with Palestine

IRAN: A US wrestler warms up in front of a picture of Ayatollah Kahmenei

SAUDI ARABIA: Fans of Saudi soccer club Al-Hilal bring out the same pageantry you'll find at any big European match

SAUDI ARABIA: An Al Shabab player lifts the trophy after winning the league on the last day

EGYPT: Security guards watch a World Cup qualifier between Egypt and Algeria

QATAR: Women sit in the stands before a Asian Cup qualifier between Saudi Arabia and Japan

IRAN: A woman celebrates a win over Bahrain in a World Cup qualifier

QATAR: Kids wait in line at the Al Gharafa Stadium

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