Mahassen Hala Mohammed Fattouh was born in Florida, USA to parents Susan Green and Mohammed Zakariah Fattouh. Hala is very proud of her family's diversity, originating from every part of Lebanon along with extended family in the diaspora all over the world. Her father was born in his family's home in Beirut near what is now Ain El Tineh, and her aunt and cousins live in Verdun in Beirut. Her older sister Soumiah has a son named Roland who loves going to the beach, picking blueberries, and playing video games.
Hala currently lives and trains in South Carolina with Ray Jones, personal coach of world champion and international record holder CJ Cummings. Ray's coaching focus is on injury prevention, staying healthy, and adapting programming to make the most of every practice. Hala is committed to competing clean and advocates strongly for drug-free training.
Hala's first major international competition was the IWF World Championship held in Kazakhstan in 2014. This was her first time competing with elite level lifters, traveling to East Asia, and broke ground as the first time any Lebanese woman competed internationally in weightlifting. In 2015, Hala earned the first Olympic qualification points at the IWF World Championship held in Houston, USA and in 2017, a top 10 finish at the IWF World Championships in Anaheim, USA.
In 2018, Hala earned the first ever international medial for Lebanon in Women's Weightlifting at the XVIII Mediterranean Games in Tarragona, Spain, and 5 silver medals and a bronze at the Arab Championship and Islamic Solidarity Championship in Cairo, Egypt. In 2019, she earned 3 gold medals and became the first female Arab Champion for Lebanon at the Arab Championship held in Aman, Jordan. Hala's highest competition lifts are 95kg (209 lbs) Snatch and (267 lbs) 121kg Clean & Jerk.
Hala's goal is to help grow the Olympic dream in Lebanon and help more women get involved in sports. To date, Hala has been the only woman to represent Lebanon in weightlifting, but is now extremely happy and excited to be joined by new teammates Nadine Kassem and Alexa Mina at their first international competitions together later this year. Hala wants to start new programs for a sustainable future for women in sports in Lebanon immediately after the 2020 Olympics.
Best competition snatch: 95kg (209lbs)
Best competition clean and jerk: 121kg (267lbs)
Started weightlifting: 2004
Interests outside the gym: Spending time outside, projects that involve building and organizing
Favorite food: Strawberries and ice cream
Favorite movie: "Good Omens" and "Arsenic and Old Lace"
2014 IWF World Championship
Houston, United States
2015 IWF World Championship
2016 Asian Championships
Anaheim, United States
2017 IWF World Championships
5th International Solidarity Championships
2018 Arab Championships
2018 IWF World Championships
XVIII Mediterranean Games
2019 IWF World Championship
2019 Arab Championships
39th Torneo Int. Manuel Suarez
2021 Asian Championships
2020 Olympic Games
Competition Coach (w zawji!)