Bridging cultures through soccer


Soccer is a sport that is universally loved. It has the potential to bring people together, regardless of where they are from or what they believe. Our goal at OnSide is to use the unique qualities of soccer to learn about people’s lives, cultures, and backgrounds, while they learn about ours, using soccer as the means of achieving this. At OnSide, we also seek to raise awareness about critical issues and advocate on behalf of marginalized communities, using soccer as a tool for education and diplomacy.

OnSide has organized soccer scrimmages amongst refugee kids in the DC area, partnered with several refugee and soccer organizations including IRC, LACES, and the 1 Journey Festival, and launched a fashion activism clothing line. We have also presented OnSide to schools, including Sidwell Friends, and to organizations, including Ashoka, T-Mobile, The Asia Group, and Me/We International. OnSide has also worked in Za'atri refugee camp in Jordan.


My experiences playing this sport and talking about soccer have led me to believe that soccer/football can help form relationships and build bridges between people. No matter your race, religion, color, or socioeconomic background, a shared love for this sport can instantly make connections and start friendships.


-Zayd Ali 

President and Founder of OnSide



Learn more about OnSide's projects by clicking below.