For most of us in the west, the mention of Afghan women doesn't conjure up visions of Taekwondo champions or olympic boxers. However, in the past few years there has been a rise in the number of female athletes and athletic programs mostly in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.
While there is a flurry of bad news about the future of Afghanistan, I want to share some inspiring stories of two remarkable women who are taking great risks to do what they love the most. They follow their bliss despite threats, intimidation and ridicule. They are the change they want to see.
Salma Hosseini, Taekwando teacher in Kabul.
Salma's family fled Afghanistan during the Russsian occupation and Taliban rule. After the Taliban were overthrown she and her family returned home to rebuild their country. Salma is quoted as saying:
" When I first put my foot back on Afghan soil, I felt so happy, I knelt down and kissed the ground. But when I saw the people and the ruins of war, it made me sad."
Read Salma's story and watch her students on my favorite Afghanistan related site Kabul A City At Work.
Sadaf Rahimi is the first Afghan woman boxer to compete for a medal at the London Olympics. She is 17 and has her heart set on bringing the Gold Medal to her country. Despite constant intimidation and threats, Sadaf and her sister continue to train as boxers and are fully supported by their families. Sadaf is quoted on CBS news"
"When we participate in the outside competitions, there is pressure on us," Rahimi said while training in a makeshift gym in the Afghan capital. "But I will try to show that an Afghan girl can enter the ring and achieve a position for Afghanistan."Here is a full article and video of Sadaf training.
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