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Cultural collide as Palestinian women's team take on Bohs in 'historic' friendly

The Palestinian women's football team will play their first ever match in Europe this evening when they take part in a friendly fixture at Dublin's Dalymount Park.

Bohemian Football Club said they invited the team as an act of solidarity with the Palestinian people, and to raise funds for humanitarian efforts in the region.

Manager Deema Said said the match was an important fixture for both footballing and political reasons.

"This may look like it's a football match, but it's much more than that for us. It's a way to convey our message and to like make sure that the solidarity between the Palestinian people and the Irish people will always exist.

"As a team manager, it's been crazy to get all the players together. We haven't had the chance to practice all together, all the full 22 members of the team until now, and some of our players have not been able to make it to Ireland as well.

"One of the biggest obstacles we face as Palestinians and Palestinian athletes is freedom of movement within the Palestinian territories. From a football perspective, that does affect the harmony of the team and the level of the team, but at the same time, this is how we live as Palestinians.

"We're used to that, and we are very resilient as people."

The game takes place against the backdrop of the war in Gaza which is now in its eight month.

Read more about the conflict in the Middle East

Captain Mira Natour said it has impacted on the players.

"A lot of girls have different stories. Some lost someone of their families, some have brothers or cousin who have gone to jail. Despite the challenges and despite the circumstances we are facing, we have the right to play soccer, we have the rights to travel, we deserve respect".

The conflict has caused Ms