While the national soccer team has slipped in quality since the revolution, the handball team holds steady as one of Africa’s best, defeating Tunisia in a hard-fought 21-19 final on home soil.
Twelve nations took part in the competition, but only three have ever won the title. The sport is dominated by North Africa, with Tunisia and Algeria the other traditional powers.
But this year, Angola shocked defending champion Algeria to claim third place. It was Egypt’s first title since 2008, and now qualifies with Tunisia for the world championships in France.
Many Americans are not familiar with the sport of handball, but I highly recommend it for its fast-paced strategy and athleticism. So also with squash, another sport at which Egypt excels.
But while Egypt takes pride in its success in these sports, it is soccer that moves the national consciousness. A revival on the pitch could significantly contribute to lifting the country’s spirits.
But while waiting, celebrate with Egypt a considerable accomplishment.