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World’s Strongest Girl Arrives in Syria to Meet First Lady

© Sputnik / Kirill Kallinikov / Go to the mediabankMaryana Naumova
Maryana Naumova - Sputnik International
The 16-year old Russian youth powerlifting champion Maryana Naumova has arrived in Syria following an invitation from the country's first lady Asma Akhras al-Assad.

The athlete had earlier expressed her strong desire to visit Syria so that she can familiarize herself with what is going on in the country through first-hand experience, and was officially invited by the Syrian first lady.

On her social network account Naumova wrote about her plans to see local schools, sports facilities and the training base of a female special task force during her visit.

"I'm in Damascus, Syria, and everything is fine," she wrote. "The city is tremendous, lots of soldiers and checkpoints, just like in Donbass. But people live here and believe in victory".

She also added that she had prepared a personal present for the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad.

I fly to Syria!!!I fly to the Syrian Arab Republic at the invitation by the First Lady of of Syria Asma al-Assad!All news will be on my facebook page!!!Read and see!Maryana #Naumova

Posted by Maryana Naumova on Sunday, September 6, 2015

Previously, Naumova visited Donbass several times to hold open PE classes and sports events for local children and to provide humanitarian support. Those visits cost her awards and titles as the Ukrainian Powerlifting Association (UPA) deprived her of everything she received in the country. On top of that, she was added to "Ukraine's Security Service (SBU)'s list of terrorists" and lost a sponsor — an American sports nutrition company that refused to renew her contract.

SAVE DONBASS CHILDREN FROM FASCISM#MaryanaNaumova #Naumova #Donbass #Novorossia #Donetsk #ЯВаня

Posted by Maryana Naumova on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Naumova also conducted several sports workshops in schools in North Korea.

This spring she met former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at a bodybuilding show in the US state of Ohio. She handed Schwarzenegger letters from Donbass children and asked for his assistance in reconciliation between the US and Russia.

Two Terminators)))Just for one picture I can fly across the ocean!!!!Maryana #Naumova and Arnold Schwarzenegger #ArnoldClassictoday at the Arnold Sports Festival

Posted by Maryana Naumova on Friday, March 6, 2015

Syria has been engulfed in civil war since March 2011 with government forces loyal to President Assad fighting several opposition and radical Islamist militant groups, such as ISIL, the self-described Islamic State.

Many Western states have long supported what they call "moderate" rebel fighters. Russia, however, considers Assad's government legitimate.

Hi guys)How are you doing at the gym??40.5 cmMaryana #Naumova #mhpteam #mhpstrong #harris

Posted by Maryana Naumova on Thursday, February 26, 2015

Naumova is a multiple-time female world record-holder in bench press. She was the first girl under 18 in Russia who was allowed to participate in professional powerlifting championships.

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