Type Afghanistan into Google and see what you find… Bombings… A explosion ripped through a wedding in Kabul, Afghanistan. Killing dozens of people… War… Crisis…

These are normally the pictures that come to mind when you hear the name Afghanistan. But are these tragic events really that common? Yes. Tragedy strikes Afghanistan on a daily basis. A country at war for 40 years. But is there another side to Afghanistan that is rarely covered? Let’s find out! The world’s deadliest conflict… The war should end in Afghanistan.

Hi, how are you? We will smile towars life because life is worth smiling. Not a day without violence… We are sure that is resilience, we will not allow people to know that we have weakened… Our families shed blood for this country. ♪♪♪ Good morning, guys! So, it is extremely early in the morning. It’s before 6:00.

I’m about meet the rest of the crew here at the UN compound, and head to the airport, we’re giving a UN flight from here in Kabul to Mazar I Sharif, which is a city in the north, near the Tajik border. This is gonna be an incredible day so… Let’s get on the road, go to the airport and discover more of Afghanistan.

I’m saying… I also think it’s because the virus is from… All right! So we’ve arrived in Mazar I Sharif. You can see wedding hall in the background, you can see the mountainous regions there, they were pretty beautiful. This country’s topography and landscape out of this world. We’re at the guesthouse now, the UN guesthouse, we’re gonna drop our bags then we’re gonna go explore some more areas.

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But I want to point out something interesting about the drivers here, it’s common practice for people to drive on the wrong side of the road towards the oncoming traffic and just flash their lights. It’s quite entertaining sometimes. There’s some kids that are gonna go meet, hopefully, at a skate park, skateboarding…

And then also some local ice-cream sellers, so there’s a traditional way they make ice cream here so…So just come to this big skateboard complex, I know that’s less than you’d expect here it’s called Skateistan, I think I’m saying that right… Obviously, Skate land. There’s some outside ramps, out here, some concrete transitions, and we’re just going to head inside and see the indoor park, they’re gonna have girls skating.

Basically the objective of this project is to get kids from poorer communities to have more time to play and get active when they’re all the strife, that also exists in Cambodia, South Africa… And, obviously, here in Afghanistan so… It’s a very interesting project, so let’s check it out. So just come into the skate warehouse here… and the kids are getting ready, and putting their pads on and everything. It’s a pretty cool skate park, check it out.

There’s a big ramp over there, Yeah! Amazing! ♪♪♪ So you saw all the kids warming up before. Now, after stretch their legs and their ankles… Girl skating! There are only girls here and they shred hi. One of the best skaters of Afghanistan is actually here. He was skating before, he’s so good, I’ll get some shots of him for you soon.

So these two girls behind us, they’re about to compete against each other, And then I’m going to interview one of the girls, How did she go into skating? And things like that. So, I just meet up with a young girl called… I’m gonna ask her a few questions. Arion, can you just ask her how she got into skateboarding in the first place?

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There was a skateboarding delegation visiting from Kabul. They came and they had an exhibition here, they showed girls how skateboarding is done, she was fascinated by this. And when this place opened what she did was that she came with her teacher and with her principal and their family and she irresistible learning the skateboarding. Who were her favorites skateboardes?

I won’t be much bothering about the world but I would tell you about Afghanistan, the skateboarders that are my idol and that I look up to are Norsai, my coach here, a couple of other coaches from Kabul, there’s another skateboarder, a female skateboarder that I like her. -So they’re locals… -All locals… And does she follow the American scene?

I’m not bothered about which country the skateboarders are from as long as I can learn a trick from the movie, I watch on mobile, I watch on mobile and if I see that this is a new trick, and I practice it back here. And would she like to be professional one day? My dream is that one day I’ll represent Afghanistan and become the top ten skateboarding woman in Asia, and then go for the international competition.

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Does she think that skateboarding brings a lot of positivity to Afghanistan during the hard times? //Speaking native language// It is true, for me personally, it’s very true that before skating… Before skateboarding I was very tense, I was always nervous, I was sort of an introvert person, I would go in sit and not mingle with the people, but since I’ve joined skateboarding I am more talking to people, I am interacting with more people…

The days that I have to come to skateboarding I’m prepared early in the morning, and I’m come here to start practice the new tricks that I learned I start practicing before mi teacher is coming and I show them. And what her parents thinks about the skateboarding? With my parents it has been quite difficult to convince them, but since we went to China, a month ago, we had practices there, we practiced there and so…

After that I had any problem from my parents, they’ve been happy with me so… Coming back from China what I’ve done is that I record my new tricks, I take it back home, I showed to my mother who loves all the way, I showed to my sister-in-law, she loves it, and I love when the family is attentive about me in what I’m doing.

And one last question, what would she say to the other skateboarders in western countries about Afghanistan?The people… Especially to the girls who are skateboarding in New Zealand s, and elsewhere in the world, I would say that with such harsh circumstances, and we are skateboarding here, as you can see.

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I hope and pray for the day that we would be able, either you come and see our skateboarding here, and we learned from you, or we come and we skateboard with you, so together we will take skateboarding to higher and higher professional arena. Beautiful! ♪♪♪ So, now I just made up with Norsai, and you’re one of the best skaters in Afghanistan, is that rigth?

Hi everyone! I’m happy to meet you here! Thank you! How long are you been skateboarding? -About 10 years. -10 years? -Yes. -Okay. -When I was a little… Like 9 years! -But you started here… -Yes, I started in Kabul, actually. -In Kabul… You have another one of these faculty warehouses in Kabul…? Yeah, I was a student in Kabul, actually. Then I moved to Mazār-i-Sharīf and now I’m been in the program. -Rigth.

-Yeah! So you’ve competed internationally skateboarding? Yeah! That was in the year 2014… In the international division of China. China! That was a presentation not actually a competition. But in Kabul was an internaly competition among everyone, and I won the first position. -You won. -Yes. -Congratulations! -Thank you. 

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