Afghanistan Meets Skateboarding – Provides Distraction From Desolation

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Is it just me or has skateboarding always been slightly misunderstood by society? It’s roots are from that of rebels, square pegs in a round hole world. At the same time that’s always been the appeal of skateboarding for generations of youth. An outlet to escape too away from the confines of home or school. A place where all that matters is shredding. The feeling you get when you nail that trick you’ve been killings yourself to land is always worth the drama the security guard brings at your local spot. Cops are here? Just another day on the job. My observation is that Skateboarding is and always has been a positive thing, providing a constructive past time for the youth not only here at home but all over the globe. I recently read this article from the New York Times about what Skateboarding is doing in Afghanistan.

26skate.xlarge1 Afghanistan Meets Skateboarding   Provides Distraction From Desolation

In KABUL, Afghanistan kids try tricks on their skateboards rejoicing in there enjoyment at a local skatepark where just hours before some 20 yards away was the bloody scene of a suicide car bombing. A normal occurrence in that area. This is profound considering the constant circumstances these children face. Yet this seems to be symbolic of a sport that only recently the general public has given attempt at understanding and possibly welcoming into the fold. This kind of story can be found in almost every part of the world to some degree. Skateboarding is one of the best ways to lure kids away from the streets where all too often they get lost in the chaos that is our world today.

Oliver Percovich. A 34-year-old from Melbourne, Australia is behind creating the first Skateboarding school in Afghanistan.

Teenagers are trying to dissociate from old mentalities, and I’m their servant,” Percovich said. “If they weren’t interested, I would’ve left a long time ago.

Maro, an elfin 9-year-old girl is among the children who are reaping the benefits of skateboarding’s introduction in her community uses it as an escape from their war-hardened lives like most do.

It gives me courage, and once I start skating, I completely forget about my fears.

Others unfortunately are not as lucky. Hadisa, a 10-year-old girl from a conservative family where skateboarding is not accepted is beaten by her two older brothers when caught skateboarding.

I’m not upset with my brothers for beating me,” Hadisa whispered on a recent day when she did not skate because her oldest brother was nearby. “They have the right.

26skate.large2  Afghanistan Meets Skateboarding   Provides Distraction From Desolation

It takes time for a sport like Skateboarding to take hold in certain places around the world but no doubt that it continues to do what it’s always done, give kids a fun escape from their troubles, whatever they may be. Thanks skateboarding for always being there.

Tony Owen is a web developer, skateboarder, designer, musician, traveler and blogger. Founder of Arkitecht and Skateboarding Magazine.

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