Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Afghan Olympian Has Eye On Prize -- Equality For Women

Tahmina Kohestani leads the Afghan Olympic team upon their arrival in London ahead of this year's games.
Tahmina Kohestani leads the Afghan Olympic team upon their arrival in London ahead of this year's games.
By Omid Marzban
Afghanistan's only female Olympian does not expect to win a medal, but says the opportunity to compete in London is worth more than gold.

Sprinter Tahmina Kohestani, who will compete in the 100 meters on August 3, says the real prize will be to see more Afghan women enter the sporting arena in the future.

"If I can open the way or motivate other Afghan girls to join us and improve the quality of our sports, so that in next Olympic Games more than one or two Afghan girls participate, I think that is worth more to me than a medal from this Olympics." she told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan.

Kohestani yet to break 14 seconds in her event, far off the favorites' times, but has broken taboos at a record pace in her home country.
Kohestani is only the third Afghan woman to compete at the Olympic Games.Kohestani is only the third Afghan woman to compete at the Olympic Games.
Kohestani is only the third Afghan woman to compete at the Olympic Games.
Kohestani is only the third Afghan woman to compete at the Olympic Games.

"To reach my training every day, from home to the stadium, I had to take three different buses," she said. "On every bus, people were bothering me and speaking harshly to me because they thought it was against their honor if I, as a Muslim Afghan girl, represented Afghanistan in the games."

On one occasion, a driver even kicked Kohestani off his bus.

"That day I trained with tears in my eyes," she said. "Now I work hard in order to promote the culture [of sport] among my people."

Tahmina is only the third Afghan woman ever to have earned the opportunity to compete in the Olympic Games, and is taking care to represent her country and Islamic faith in proper fashion.

"I will wear a headscarf, long trousers, and a blouse with long sleeves," she said. "I will run in clothes that my trainers and the head of Afghan National Olympic Committee advise me to wear. It is completely Islamic."
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Comment Sorting
by: Marie Johns from: Virginia
August 02, 2012 20:14
I wish her well. Her bravery will not go unnoticed.

by: Crowsnest from: Canada
August 02, 2012 22:31

by: Bill Webb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
August 03, 2012 00:28
She should try it without all the "Islamic" paraphernalia and be more competitive with the rest of the world. A medal would make Afghanis more forgiving and promote women's equality.
In Response

by: Sey from: World
August 03, 2012 08:21
Nonsense. That is not the way Afghan society works. Indeed, it is the 'Islamic paraphernalia' what will gain her respect within Afghan society. Islam is a deep part of Afghan society, so pretty much going against Islam will be understood as going against Afghan society and culture.

In a country where women are killed for not respecting traditions, don't you think it's stupid to promote challenging of those traditions? Afghans should rather work towards promoting social change within traditional frameworks.
In Response

by: Bill Webb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
August 14, 2012 23:00
the way Afghan society works, traditional frameworks, woman with tail between her legs hoping to avoid getting murdered by a muslin man with a superiority complex. Don't even try to make me think any women support this kind of an attitude.
In Response

by: John from: USA
August 09, 2012 11:30
I fear that it will be a very, very, long time before we see equality and an acceptance of western values and respect for women in Afghanistan where men dominate and old men dictate Muslim rule. This young female Olympiad is one of four that's sacrificed personal safety, life, and safe existence back in her homeland to open a door for the rest of Afghanistan's women to a better existence by being a positive role model. Out of respect for her religious beliefs and culture despite attacks and mistreatment of her countrymen, she wore the appropriate attire to compete against others who wore nonrestrictive attire allowing a better performance. This young lady showed up, participated and gave it her all. I applaud her and her courage.

by: Stephanie from: USA
August 04, 2012 00:10
She is the most inspirational Olympian for the London 2012 Olympics. I will never forget her courage and determination.

by: Shosoho from: Afghanistan
August 09, 2012 06:59
Tamina, I want to congratulate you on a tremendous effort and competitive spirit. Much more, your bravery and commitment to opening doors and pioneering a better future for Afghanistan's women and women of the world. You drove on despite very little, or no support from your countrymen, but I applaud you and hope we see more of you in the future. God Bless You and Thank you.

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