Success stories of Palestinian achievers from all over the world

Mark Gerban

Mark Gerban

Sector : Sports, Athletes

Personal Info

  • Country of residence: Palestine
  • Gender: Male
  • Born in: 1979
  • Age: 38
  • Curriculum vitae :


Mark Gerban is a former professional rower. He is notable as the first rower in history to represent the State of Palestine at the World Championships.
Competing in the Lightweight Men's Single, he had the highest placed World Championship finish (16th) of a Palestinian athlete in any sport (excluding Special Olympics events).

Gerban was born to a Jewish mother and Palestinian father in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Gerban graduated from Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania in 1998. He later graduated from Drexel University in 2003 with a triple major in Production Operations Management, Economics, and International Business. From 1998 until 2001 he was a member of AEPi.
While at Drexel on an athletic scholarship, he competed with the NCAA Division I Varsity Swimming program, where he was a multiple America East Conference Swimming Champion. He also managed to become a multiple Royal Canadian Henley Regatta and US National Champion in the sport of rowing during his off-season. Additionally, Mark was the swimming representative for the Student Athlete Advisory Board (SAAB) at Drexel.

After the media controversy at Drexel, Gerban's interest in Palestinian issues grew. It was also during this time that he first considered rowing for Palestine.
Following his decision to represent Palestine, he claimed to have been exposed to a high level of discrimination. He claimed that, while a member and live-in resident of Malta Boat Club along Boathouse Row in Philadelphia, he was forced out on the grounds of "representing a country associated with terrorism"


Achievements and Awards

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