Together with America Scores and City in the Community, streetfootballworld hosted Hajar Abulfazil of the Afghanistan Women’s National Football Team for an informal meet-and-greet with young female players from New York City last week. Hajar serves as an ambassador for Shirzanan, an organisation that works to improve sports access for Muslim women. Shirzanan is the Persian word for ‘female heroes’ and an apt description for athletes who are breaking barriers and stereotypes around the world.
Hajar pushes boundaries for women in Afghanistan. She lives in Kabul where the opportunities to play sports are limited for girls. In her hometown, there is only one soccer complex that is shared by both male and female teams. During the six days that it’s open each week, the women are only permitted four hours of access.
Hajar is striving to make a change.
During the event, she facilitated a meaningful conversation around the power of female athleticism and the gender discrepancies in our communities. Young girls aged 8-18 shared their experiences and brainstormed ways we could make a change in New York City and beyond. From ideas like all-female football complexes to religious tolerance and equal play—those in attendance shared a fruitful discussion about how to make a difference in their communities. An 8-year-old from City in the Community Foundation was asked what she learned during her time at the event.
“To always fight for what’s right.”
Photo Credit: Lisa Haefner