Wednesday February 8, 2017
Kabul (BNA) In Afghanistan, women are largely prohibited from taking part in sports.
Some women recently are noticing the beginnings of cultural change, but it’s still far from the norm for women pursuing athletic endeavors to be widely accepted. That, however, has not deterred a group of young women and girls in Western Kabul from studying Wushu, based on the ancient Chinese martial art of Kung Fu. Self-defense is the obvious practical application for the study of Wushu, but Sima Azimi, the 20-year-old instructor who leads the Shaolin Wushu club, says there’s something deeper to the martial art. “It’s really effective for body and soul,” she told Reuters in a recent profile.
Azimi learned Kung Fu in Iran, where she was a top competitor and won a gold and bronze medal in competitions. “I am working with Afghan girls to strengthen their abilities and I love to see Afghan girls improve the way other girls have improved in the world,” she said. “My ambition is to see my students take part in international matches and win medals for their country.” The girls, pushing cultural boundaries the way they are, are routinely subjected to abuse and harassment for the love of their sport. But that hardly discourages them from breaking down gender barriers. Reuters put together a Twitter moment of photos showing the girls training, and the series of images puts on full display the girls’ talents and dedication.
Wednesday February 8, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Afghan Mix Martial Art fighters got first position of Tajikistan competition.
Munawar Shah Shahzad in-charge of publication in National Olympic Committee told BNA reporter, the competitions with participation of MMA athletes from eight countries was held in Dushanbe city capital of Tajikistan, in which Afghan MMA fighters with three victories got first position of the tournament and Tajikistan with two victories stopped in second position.
In the mentioned competitions seven MMA athletes were participated from Afghanistan, Shahzad added.
Nasratullah Akhunzada at the weight of 70 kg, Nesar Ahmad Watandost at the weight of 84 kg and Bukhtawar Dawlat succeeded to defeat their Tajikistani and Uzbekistani rivals in the tournament.
Tuesday February 7, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Gyms have grown popular in Afghanistan's capital in recent years, but the country's conservative culture meant that women could not use them with men.
One female entrepreneur saw that as an opportunity, and five years ago opened Ladies World, a women-only exercise facility with modern equipment, a sauna, swimming pool, beauty salon and area for physiotherapy. Five years later, Shabnam Nazari says her business is thriving and she is looking into opening several branches in other parts of the capital. "Our initiative may come across as something unusual to some people in Afghanistan, but those who understand where I am coming from appreciate our efforts," Nazari told VOA. "They encourage us to expand our business in other areas of Kabul city, as well." Nazari got interested in exercise while living in Russia and Uzbekistan. When she returned to Afghanistan, she started her business, but it was difficult at first. Cultural values and the novelty of a women-only gym meant she had to work hard on the marketing, educating women and their families about the benefits of exercise. Now, things have changed for her and her center. Zuhal, who like many Afghans go by one name, is a regular member. She told VOA that she joined the facility six months ago and is quite grateful. "Those who work out here are very happy with the initiative. This facility has made it possible for women to get out of their houses and come here to exercise," Zuhal said. "Now we can pay better attention to our health and well-being."
Struggle to operate
Even after five years in business, Nazari feels social pressure about her work from more conservative friends and relatives. But she remains committed to the business. "It is inevitable for women to run into problems when they decide to break with tradition and get out of the house to work," Nazari said. "But I believe that we have to fight the emerging problems for the development of women." Women in Afghanistan remain subject to all kinds of restrictions and limitations on their movement, but Ladies World is one place that provides an environment for them to meet outside their homes. The center has flexibility in its operating hours to accommodate women who cannot work out on a set schedule because of competing family priorities. FILE - Afghanistan's Tahmina Kohistani competes in a women's 100-meter heat during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Aug. 3, 2012.
Limits for women
Female participation in sports remains very limited in Afghanistan, even though the country sends female competitors to national and international sports events. Tahmina Kohistani became an icon, representing Afghanistan in the 2012 London Olympics. She was the only female athlete from Afghanistan and competed in the 100-meter sprint. In an op-ed that she wrote for the Guardian at the time, she said her goal was to tell the world that Afghan women could be as competitive as others. "I am here to begin a new era for the women of Afghanistan to show people that we can do the same things that people from other countries can do. There is no difference between us," Tahmina wrote in her piece.
Tuesday February 7, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Afghanistan development cricket team after performance five 50-over matches with Zimbabwe A cricket team to be returned home today.
Farid Hotak spokesman of Afghanistan cricket board told BNA reporter, Afghanistan development cricket team became success in the 4 matches of this tournament and lost one of the match against Zimbabwe A cricket team.
In the fifth match of the competition Zimbabwe A started bowling and with losing 8 wicket targeted 288 runs in 50 overs to Afghanistan development cricket team, but our cricket team couldn’t complete the chosen target and accept his failure in the match, Hotak added.
It is mentionable that Afghanistan development cricket team with defeating Zimbabwe A cricket team in first three matches has obtained the cup of the tournament.