Salem Abu Siam
(, ; born 8 March 1983 in Lod
) is an Arab Israeli
professional association football
player who currently plays for Hapoel Petah Tikva
and is former Under-21
Salem was part of the youth side at Maccabi Tel Aviv
that won two straight championship titles as well as a cup title. It was inevitable that he would be promoted to the first side where he eventually received a starting role.
While in his first season at Maccabi Tel Aviv, they won a league championship and in his third season, Abu Siam was playing in the UEFA Champions League. Abu Siam, although as a Beduin
belongs to a group not totally identified with the Arab community and therefore is not exactly of the same ethnic background as other Arab Israeli footballers such as Salim Tuama
, Salah Hasarme
or Abbas Suan
, often had to turn the other cheek to racist remarks shouted at those players (or occasionally at him) by Maccabi fans, who are known for their often flagrantly personally offensive chants, and are often ranked highest on the Israeli press's tally for most racist fan community.
Bnei Yehuda TA
At the beginning of the 2006-07 season Abu Siam made the eyebrow-raising decision to sign with one of Mac TA's crosstown rivals, Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv
, a club with a fanatical fanbase smaller than Maccabi's, but more violent. Although at the beginning of the season the fans ridiculed the decision to sign the club's first Arab player, the furor soon died down, which came... Read More