Running: from Afghanistan to the Olympics

Like any other morning, I turned on the news while making myself breakfast, occasionally glancing at the t.v. screen for any serial killers I should watch out for. This morning, I saw Meredith Vierra interviewing a young woman, a young Muslim woman. She’s wearing a headscarf, definitely Muslim. Probably Lebanese, Egyptian?

“Tahmina Kohistani is a practicing muslim and will complete in Islamic uniform”

Kohistani..that sounds so familiar…oh! Hammasa Kohistani the Afghan woman who won Miss England…maybe Tahmina’s Afghan as well…nah

“Do you feel that that will limit you as a sprinter?”

“No, I never think like that it disturbs me”

“What do you think is the likelihood that you will win a medal?”

“It’s very difficult to win medal from Olympic game, like a dream if I win medal, I think I will start new way for girls and women in Afghanistan …”

WHOA ho ho! REWIND thank goodness for DVR

“…I think I will start new way for girls and women in Afghanistan and believe they can do everything they want”

Wow, I’m very proud. Even though she’s a long shot from competing in the finals, it’s still something. Especially considering she is the only female on her team from Afghanistan and only the third Afghan woman ever to represent Afghanistan at the Olympics. Seeing Tahmina in a headscarf and not having the support of her country makes me sad. When I asked my parents if women had to wear headscarfs when they were in Afghanistan they say, “headscarfs? women wore high heels, mini skirts, some dyed their hair blonde–if you weren’t fashionable, you were talked about by the women and the men as well.” My mother tells me it’s not easy for them to just ditch their headscarfs after the Taliban regime and their rules. Some women keep it on because of fear and perhaps because that is what they became accustomed to. \

Regardless, it makes me proud that Tahmina built up the courage to compete; I admire her bravery and courage. She inspired me. If she can make changes from a war torn country with no facilities, then I, coming from a modern and well-developed society, have no excuse not to make changes as well, inspiring young women in all aspects of life.


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