Support Afghan Female Boxers Fighting their Way to London Olympics

Feb 9, 2012   //   by Hameed   //   culture, Human Rights, links, Peace, Poverty, videos, Women in Conflict  //  2 Comments

In the base­ment of once noto­ri­ous Ghazi Nation­al Olympic Sta­di­um of Afghanistan is where the Afghan nation­al team of female box­ers train tire­less­ly hard for the Olympics 2012 in London.
Once known as the sta­di­um of death the venue was used for hold­ing pub­lic exe­cu­tions and ston­ing under the bru­tal Tal­iban rule, 1996 to 2001. Under the Tal­iban women were com­plete­ly for­bid­den from par­tic­i­pat­ing in any sports, not even as spectators.
Refur­bished by the US gov­ern­ment, Ghazi Olympic Sta­di­um reopened in recent years and thou­sands of young ath­letes train here every­day, includ­ing Afghanistan’s nation­al female box­ers team. Beam­ing with hope, this group of 25 girls with a mis­sion, meet in this dark­ened train­ing club in the base­ment with cracked mir­rors, three times a week and run hard prac­tices to pre­pare for the upcom­ing 2012 Olympics. The team has been giv­en a chance to par­tic­i­pate in Olympic games in Lon­don. They real­ly have their work cut out for them.
Shab­nam, a 19-year-old box­er won gold medal in an inter­na­tion­al com­pe­ti­tion in Octo­ber 2011 in Tajik­istan. Her younger sis­ter also won silver.

In a coun­try where still a very insignif­i­cant num­ber of women are allowed by their fam­i­lies to par­tic­i­pate in sports and despite threats of kid­nap­ping and vio­lence, Shab­nam and her oth­er fel­low box­ers con­tin­ue to fight thi­er way to the Olympics 2012 in Lon­don. “We work for the future, because the past is lost”, says Moham­mad Shabir Shar­i­fi coach of the nation­al female box­ers team in an interview.
These box­ers are the bea­cons of hope for Afghanistan and their vic­to­ry means hope and encour­ag­ment to mil­lions of oth­er Afghan women. I admire their brav­ery and the noble love and sup­port these young women receive from their fam­i­lies and their coach in the pur­suit of their Olympic dreams. Their spir­its are high and with prac­tice and strong deter­mi­na­tion they will show the world that they too can be the con­tenders. The team that rep­re­sents Afghanistan in inter­na­tion­al com­pe­ti­tions has lit­tle sup­port from the gov­ern­ment ($1 a day per athlete).
Here is a peti­tion to the Afghan pres­i­dent, Hamid Karzai to give the Afghan wom­en’s box­ing team more pro­tec­tion and sup­port that they tru­ly deserve. Peti­tion to Hamid Karzai