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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Crossing borders, this Afghanistan girl has fans in Pakistan too

Posted: Wed Nov 23 2011

Spectators watching the first round bout of the 1st South Asian senior Karate championships between K Wathsala of Sri Lanka and Meena Asadi of Afghanistan would have been surprised by the cheers for the Afghan girl. The majority of the cheers — Mashallah Meena — were coming from the Pakistani contingent. Although she was wearing the badge of Afghanistan on her karate outfit - gi - till only a few months ago she was winning medals for Pakistan.

Hazaras (a tribe) from Kabul, Meena’s family had fled to Quetta during the civil war in Afghanistan in the early 1990’s. While money was tight, Meena says that wasn’t as big a problem as the society’s refusal to come to terms with a girl playing games. This was a contact sport.

“I was very headstrong so when I turned 13, I went up to the coach at a club and said that I wanted to learn. He had no problem as long as I could pay. He would make me train in the corner, but I was thrilled just to learn,” says the slightly built 19 year old who competes in the sub 48 kg category. It turned out that she was pretty good at it. Just three months after she joined she won a local competition, which was also the first time her parents came to know of their daughters passion.

Indian Express

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