Palestinian, Omar Kharroub, closing in on his dream of playing football professionally
Omar Kharroub has been proving people wrong for so long, it’s fitting that he’s one impressive game away from landing his dream job—professional quarterback.
Ever since Kharroub was a kid, he’s imagined himself playing for a professional team. Despite skeptics criticizing his size—Kharroub is 5’11’’— he’s on the verge of proving he can be a quality quarterback at the next level.
“For some reason I loved football. it was a way for me to cope with things around me,”said Kharroub. “It was a way for me to fight my demons in my head and a way for me just to have fun and let loose. I would watch famous NFL stars on TV do the most amazing things and I would want that [for myself].”
Next month, he will have the opportunity to fulfill that dream, but only if he’s able to get to the National Bowl. Kharroub was invited to the game but needs help financing his trip. The prestigious invite doesn’t come with a complimentary trip and a place to stay. So far, he’s raised $2,020 of the $2,400 he needs.
The National Bowl Game is an annual post-season college football all-star game, where top players from non-FBS schools are invited. The fourth annual game will be hosted at Ocean Bank Field at Florida International University on December 6.
If he makes it to Florida it would be his last collegiate game and it’ll be in front of professional coaches and scouts from all around the world. The game is coached by pro coaches like former Green Bay Packers coach Mike Stock. In the past the game has been attended by scouts from the St Louis Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs; the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes; and the Arena Football League’s Cleveland Gladiators and the Philadelphia Soul.
There isn’t a surplus of Palestinians playing professional football. In the NFL, Houston Texans guard Oday Aboushi is the only Palestinian American in the league. He was drafted by the Jets in 2013.
Kharroub’s parents immigrated to the United States from Palestine when they were teenagers. His mom is from Atarah and his dad is from Bir Ma’in, which is in present-day Israel.
To be invited to the National Bowl in itself means a great deal to Kharroub. There were many people who didn’t expect him to receive the invitation. But the fact that European professional recruiters have shown interest in him, proves his skill set needs to be taken seriously.
Kharroub is admittedly not the prototype quarterback. Kind of like the Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson and the San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick.
“I wanted to play one of the biggest positions on the team and people laughed at me because they didn’t think I could play quarterback. I was a 5’11, short, chubby Palestinian but people knew one thing: I can sure sling that ball,” he said.
Despite entering his college career with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and being overlooked sometimes by his own coaches and teammates, with a little more financial help, all the haters on the sidelines will be eating their words.