This wasn’t only a success for Khatib, but a triumph for Syrian refugees.
Khatib comes from a family of Syrian immigrants so she decided to use this race as an opportunity to help refugees who have resettled in her home state of Michigan. The runner raised $16,000 for the Syrian American Rescue Network, a Michigan-based nonprofit that helps refugees get acclimated to life in America.
The athlete was “tossing and turning all night” before the race, according to a pre-race Instagram post. She followed up by writing “God brought me here for a reason.”
Khatib has developed a following through her Instagram account where she inspires Muslim women to get active. She also was the first Muslim woman to wear a headscarf on the cover of an American health or fitness magazine.
Khatib was born in Damascus, Syria, and later came to the United States with her family. She started running five years ago and her ultimate goal is to complete in all six of the world’s largest marathons. The Boston Marathon marks number three, and she previously ran in the Berlin and Chicago marathons.
In an interview with The Huffington Post earlier this year, Khatib said that she believed the chance to compete in the Boston Marathon was sent to her from God.
“I want to make an impact on the Ummah [the worldwide Muslim community], no matter how small, it’s my way of giving back to society and humanity,” she said.