NRI Press Club to invite Nouf Marwaai to US


CHICAGO: A large number of Indian and American followers of Yoga here have welcomed the Indian government recognizing a Muslim woman from tradition-bound Saudi Arabia for propagating Yoga in her country and Mideast regions, strictly on health ground.

Madhu Patel of NRI Press Club said that his club would like to invite and honor Nouf Marwaai to visit Chicago and other parts of the country to talk about the health benefits of ancient Indian practice of Yoga. Nouf is a first certified Yoga instructor in Saudi Arabia , instrumental in making Yoga legal and getting official recognition in that country. She is the founder of the Arab Yoga Foundation in Saudi Arabia and now the recipient of India’s fourth highest civilian award, the Padma Shri.
The list of awardees is revealed every year on India’s Republic Day, January 26 Her public comment when she got this news through text and phone calls was that it was an utter surprise to her, but at the same time she felt hugely honored too. “There is also a feeling of lurking fear this award brings with it.” Nouf observed that “this will definitely be a very big fillip for yoga and it’s a great recognition for a lifetime achievement.”

On being a cultural ambassador for both India and Saudi Arabia, Nouf reportedly said that for years now “I’ve been promoting the Indian culture, especially yoga, and I’ve always spoken to people about this meditating practice, and how beautiful is Indian culture. My propagation of yoga among friends, made them more involved in Indian culture, adopting some of it, while having the best of both cultures. They made Indian friends and now we have a lot of Indian friends and this is very important for the youths in both the countries to collaborate together, for both countries have a lot to offer.”

A good number of people come to yoga classes with many issues, she said. Even if yoga cannot help fully resolving their issues; they are very aware that it helps body and mind, unlike other sports. People notice a lot of health issues addressed and that’s why yoga is expanding all over the world with 300 million yoga practitioners.

Saudi nouf
Padma Shri Nouf Marwaai of Saudi Arabia being honored by Saudi Indian Consulate

Both Indian Ambassador Ahmad Javed and Consul General Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh expressed their happiness at Nouf’s award.

Nouf has been associated with the Embassy of India, Riyadh and Consulate General of India, Jeddah, for past few years and participated in programs on the occasion of International Day of Yoga. She is a known personality in India too. She says, “I too will demonstrate the Sheershaasan (head stand) posture in the event.”





Surendra Ullal