I just got a lot of messages regarding the image I just posted of Fazila. I came across this image whilst browsing online and it was linked to a website called Skateistan. Skateistan is Afghanistan’s—and the world’s—first co-educational skateboarding school. Operating as an independent, neutral, Afghan NGO, the school engages growing numbers of urban and internally-displaced youth in Afghanistan through skateboarding, and provides them with new opportunities in cross-cultural interaction, education, and personal empowerment. There are currently two documentaries about Skateistan that have been released. In late 2010 a 9-minute short documentary entitled “Skateistan: To Live and Skate Kabul“ was released by director Orlando Von Einsiedel on the internet. In January 2011 a full-length documentary entitled “Skateistan: Four Wheels and a Board in Kabul” premiered at the Santa Barbara film festival in the USA. The full-length was directed by Kai Sehr and will be showing in various festivals worldwide throughout 2011.
The girl in the photograph, Fazila Shirindel is a skate instructors and part of the maintenance crew at Skateistan. She works alongside Faranaz Akram who also holds the same positions as her. Fazila and Faranaz are Afghanistan’s best female skateboarders and the head female skate teachers at the Kabul facility. Fazila is a Skateistan veteran, starting out in 2008 and progressing ever since; she recentely spoke at a human rights forum in front of delegates from all over Afghanistan about the importance of not forgetting that children are the future of the nation. Fazila’s family fled her hometown of Jalalabad in 2001, eventually ending up in Kabul as refugees. She hopes to be the director of Skateistan one day. Faranaz began skating at the indoor facility in early 2010. Aside from skating she likes to paint, especially on skateboards. Both girls are top students in school.
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