Afficher l'image d'origine

Afficher l'image d'origine

Afficher l'image d'origine

Afficher l'image d'origine

Lifetime Achievement Award
Article, SquashSite 2009

Ibrahim Amin

Liz Irving & Ahmed Safwat
SquashSite 2013


For over 1000 years man has invented and enjoyed a variety of games played by hitting a ball with either a closed fist – as in “fives” or “bunch of fingers” – or with some form of bat or racket.

Around the year 1148, the French played “la Paume”, meaning “the palm of the hand”, which developed into 'Jeu de Paume', 'Real Tennis', 'Royal Tennis' or simply Tennis.

At sometime in the early 19th century this obsession with rackets and balls spawned another variety of the sport in the unlikely birthplace of the Fleet Prison in London.

The prisoners in “The Fleet”, mainly debtors, took their exercise by hitting a ball against walls, of which there were many, with rackets and so started the game of “Rackets”. Rackets progressed, by some strange route, to Harrow and other select English schools about 1820 and it was from this source that our own sport of Squash, or Squash Rackets, developed.

Squash was invented in Harrow school around 1830, when the pupils discovered that a punctured Rackets ball, which “squashed” on impact with the wall, produced a game with a greater variety of shots and required much more effort on the part of the players, who could not simply wait for the ball to bounce back to them as with Rackets. The variant proved popular and in 1864 the first four Squash courts were constructed at the school and Squash was officially founded as a sport in its own right.


Afficher l'image d'origineThe first recorded reference to “Squash”, other than in Harrow school, appeared in 1890 in the English book “The Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes” written by the Duke of Beaufort. Eustace Miles, a world championship at both Tennis and Rackets, wrote the first book on Squash in 1901; stating that the sport was enjoyed by thousands of players in various parts of the world.

By that time there were courts in schools and universities in England and some also in private houses. The first professional Squash Championship was held in 1920 in England, when C.R. Read (Queens Club) beat A.W.B. Johnson (RAC Club).

As Squash play developed so did its administrative structure: the United States Squash Racquets Association in 1907, the Canadian Squash Racquets Association in 1911, in England the game was regulated by a Squash sub-committee of the Tennis and Rackets Association from 1908 until it gained full status as the Squash Rackets Association in 1928. And in Egypt, the Association was formed in 1931.

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In 1933 the great Egyptian player F.D. Amr Bey, won the first of his five British Open Championships, then seen as the World Championships.

Amr Bey is widely considered as the first truly dominant squash player in the history of sports and also the best squash creation of Egypt.

 His first win in the British Open men’s title came as he defeated Don Butcher in 1933 who won the title previous two years. He won the British Open men’s title for six consecutive times from 1933 to 1938. Amr also has a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for winning the British Amateur Championship 6 times from 1931 to 1937.

He was honored as the pioneer leader in the “golden age of sports in Egypt” and nicknamed “Human Streak of Lightning.” King Farouk awarded him a Pasha Title. He received the World Squash Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. He died in 1972.

He was followed in his achievement by Mahmoud Abdel Karim owho won the title four times from 1947 to 1950. He started his squash journey as a ball boy at Gezira Sporting Club in Egypt.

[Maged Abaza, Tawfik Shafik, Ibrahim Amin, Kamal Zaghloul, Abdelwahid Abdelaziz

After the 50's, we have eminent players like Ibrahim Amin, Maged Abaza, Tawfik Shafik, Kamal Zaghloul, followed in the late sixties and seventies by Abdelfatah Aboutaleb, Ahmed Safwat, Mohamed Asran, Moussa Helal, Abbas Kaoud, Gamal Awad, Mohamed Awad, Magdi Saad who  were pretty successful, all top 20 players.

RIP Magdi Saad
SquashSite 2011

RIP Ahmed Safwat
SquashPlayer 2003

The Ahmed Barada Era

In any discussion about squash in Egypt, the name of Ahmed Barada will surely pop up in conversation. Barada, born in 1977 and retired in August 2001, is considered the motivation and inspiration for the majority of current Egyptian squash champions, who together have made Egypt one of the most advanced countries in squash.

Egyptian and international squash champion and ranked fourth internationally, Omar Mosaad declared in 2016 to the Online Newspaper Daily News Egypt:

When I started playing squash, the Al-Ahram International Squash Championship was on and famous Egyptian squash players were competing, including Ahmed Barada and Amr Shabana. I think it did not only inspire me, but also the majority of Egyptian squash players from my generation, including Ramy Ashour, who is ranked fifth internationally, Mohamed El-Shorbagy who is ranked first as well as Raneem El-Welily and Omneya Abdel Kawy.”

Barada’s prestigious victories include four consecutive wins at the British Junior Open Squash championship. He won in 1991 in the under-14s division; in 1992 and 1993 in the under-16s division; and in 1994 in the under-19s division.Still in 1994, he won the World Junior Open title, and also the World Junior Team with Egypt.

In 1996, Barada was runner-up of the Al-Ahram International Squash Championship, which used to be held in Cairo. He lost the final to Pakistan’s Jansher Khan 15-4, 15-11, 15-8. Khan was ranked first internationally in 1988 and seven years older than Barada.

Barada won gold at the 1997 World Games, men’s singles squash, held in Lahti, Finland. 1998 was a fruitful year for Barada as he won the Al-Ahram International Squash Championship and, that December, he was ranked second internationally.

He also was runner un in the 1999 Men’s World Open, losing out in the final in front of the Pyramids against then Scottish player Peter Nicol, who would become Barada’s long-time professional rival, a match still fresh in the memory of all that saw it, 15-9, 15-13, 15-11.

Same town, same year, Barada was of course one of the team players that took gold during the 1999 Men’s World Team Champs, against the Welsh team.

The following year, at the 2000 Al-Ahram International Squash Championship; Barada once again lost the championship’s final to Nicol, who has proved to be a strong competitor, with scores of 15-14, 9-15, 15-3, 15-12, and a final score of 3-1.

That same year, Barada was stabbed twice near the spine by an unknown assailant. Though he did recover from the injury, he only resumed playing squash for a short period and the Egyptian squash star retired in 2001. He then launched his singing career and went on to star in the Egyptian film Hob El-Banat, alongside some of Egypt’s most famous actors.

The Amr Shabana Era

in preparation....

"I make it look hard, Shabana makes it look easy... " Nick Matthew....

Sources: WSF, DailyNewsEgypt,,


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