Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Afghan Women Fighting to the Olympics

Despite the horrifying news from Afghanistan this past weekend, there are still positive stories to be told. For example, did you know that there is an Afghan women's boxing team hoping to compete in the Olympics?

A group of 20 inspiring Afghan women are looking to teach the world a little about boxing, and a lot about courage, determination and women’s rights.

They train and compete wearing in the traditional hijab beneath their tracksuits and are determined to make it to the London Olympics in 2012.

Meet one of the Olympic hopefuls, a young lady intent on showing the world that Afghan girls can fight.

Sadaf Rahimi, is just 17 years old. She is determined to win honor and dignity for herself and other women in Afghanistan, improving their image across the world. The 17-year-old told Reuters: “The difference between me and others is I want to show other countries that an Afghan girl can fight".

In an ironic, triumphant twist of fate, the Afghan women’s team now train in the infamous Ghazi Stadium in Kabul, a notorious spot, that was used in the 1990s by the Taliban as a place to publically stone women accused of adultery.

Sadaf has said she fears the return of the Taliban, "I hope the Taliban don't come back and take over… if they do, I urge them to let women engage in sports and go to school," She said.

Sadaf has spoken out about how her father, a taxi driver, regularly gets threatening letters because he allows his daughters to do sport, but she says that if she or any of the other young women make it to the Olympics, they will be sending out a message to the whole world about the women of Afghanistan.

It appears that she will be able to deliver this message personally. Her coach, Mohammad Saber Sharifi, a former professional boxer himself, and advocated of Afghan women’s rights, has announced that Sadaf has been granted a wild card to compete at the Olympics, meaning she can sidestep further qualifying rounds.

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