Dancer, trainer, coach, Muay Thai girl, fitness enthusiast, cake lover, fruit queen, and dog mom, Zaina Al-Ghabra (a.k.a Zaina Zumba) is our new fitness guru at PassionsArabia.com! Let’s learn a little more about the background and ethos of Zaina, our number one go-to for well-considered fitness advice!
In 2011, less than one year short of graduating from the University of Oklahoma with her Master degree in Strategic Communication, Zaina Al-Ghabra decided to teach Zumba classes rather than just being a student in them. At the time, she had no idea how big of a step this little step really was. While exercising the university degrees she worked so hard for, trying this corporate job and that one, the one thing that always stuck with her was this passion for teaching. Her classes at Gold’s Gym in Oklahoma and eventually in Kuwait became this positive, energy-filled craving that she couldn’t see herself without.
Always dedicated to her growth, Zaina attended yearly conventions in the USA while also traveling to Thailand to intensively train at various fitness camps. With some Muay Thai experience, in 2017, she started giving a martial art inspired HIIT class known as Strong by Zumba.
The summer of 2019 would mark her fourth visit to Thailand where this time she spent 9 weeks training at the infamous Tiger Muay Thai Camp. Fortunate to be a student once again, she also had the lovely honor of being featured as a Tiger guest coach on multiple occasions.
About one year ago today, Zaina was introduced to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and recently graduated as an integrative holistic nutrition health coach. Marinating this with her 9 years of experience as a fitness instructor, she feels blessed and cannot wait to share this particular experience with everyone. “Understanding holistic health even further has changed my life and the way I nourish; to offer that to others is a gift” says Zaina.
Aiming to cast a wide spell, Zaina works full-time at a private American school spreading her love and knowledge of fitness and holistic health to young high school girls. Being able to relate to the students and their lifestyle while living in a country that has one of the world’s scariest rates of obesity and diabetes is what keeps her active for change.
She grew up in Kuwait, in a generally healthy Palestinian-Kuwaiti household and like most kids ate things like mulukhiya, grape leaves, manaeesh and halloumi. When she wasn’t at home though, you could easily catch her with a box of KDD chocolate milk, Hawaiian pizza from Pizza Hut or a bag of McDonald’s and a McFlurry. She hated P.E., didn’t do sports, but grew up in and out of dance classes, which was the only activity she really enjoyed.
Zaina says, “I got to know myself when I moved to the US for university and started trying new things on my own. No peer pressure, nothing to follow the crowd with. When I danced and found my freedom in Zumba, I couldn’t wait to share it with other women who could relate, especially Arab women. When I found my power through strength training and martial arts, I also had to share that too. Now as I nourish with holistic health and wellness, I hope to play a bigger role in healing people in the world and guiding them on a journey that looks beyond the tabbouleh on their plates and the gym memberships they have.”
You can catch up with Zaina on Instagram here, and read her exclusively in The Talk magazine plus online here at PassionsArabia.com. Stay tuned!