My name is Jehad Shamis and I had the pleasure of being part of the SHUKR team from 2003-2009. My first year was spent at the factory overseeing quality control, and the remaining years were spent heading the UK division. Just before I got involved with SHUKR I took up the hobby of archery. It soon became a serious hobby and I'd help run a community club on the weekends. My interest in archery stemmed from it being one of the recommended 'sunnah sports' which have been explicitly mentioned by the noble Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, peace be upon him, and as a Muslim there's nothing greater than doing something to follow his sacred tradition, and enjoying it too!

My interest developed into horseback archery, which was still in its infancy back then, but is growing today. With a friend who took up archery at the same time, we began to travel around Europe to find teachers of this skill and learn what we could from them. We also made good connections with traditional bowyers (people that make bows). Over the last year or so as other countries have embraced the sport of horseback archery we have traveled as far as Korea and the USA to compete against some of the best in the world. We still have a way to go but the experience has been fantastic.

The competitions encourage people to dress in their traditional costume. The Japanese have their beautiful kimonos and head dresses, the Europeans have long gowns, and the Mongolians have their kaftans. Although I'm British I wanted to reflect my Arab descent while upholding respectable Islamic dress standards. Lucky for me I used to work for SHUKR! I just picked a few things from my wardrobe and put together an outfit. I always felt SHUKR clothing to be generous in terms of the room it gives one to move and to not feel restricted. Some of the baggy pants are relaxed enough for riding in, and some of the shirts are not only comfortable--but because of the heavy use of natural fibers, the cottons allow my body to breathe...oh, and they look good too!

I now teach archery full-time in the UK, mainly in schools and colleges, but I also do adult classes and am hoping to start archery classes for the disabled and those with learning disabilities, which is why I named my company 'Archery for All'.

I owe a great debt to SHUKR for allowing me time to get my archery teaching career underway while slowly phasing out of my role as UK manager. I will forever cherish my time with the workers in the factory, the management, and the employees whom I worked with in other countries. If they ever need a team building event, they know who to call.

Jehad Shamis
Archery for All: Keeping you on Target
[email protected]