Thursday, 15 November 2012

Skateistan Interviews...

Student Profile: Afghanistan

Student and Skate Teacher
Age: 11

Tamana, our newest female skate instructor in Kabul, first came to Skateistan in 2010 for Go Skateboarding Day. After over two years of skating she now channels her infinite energy and spirit to guide the young girl skaters of Afghanistan in the art of skateboarding and life.

In 2010 Tamana was interviewed for the Skateistan book, which was published in summer 2012. Here’s an excerpt from her story:

“Skateboarding is a very good thing, and a new thing, just like helicopters that fly above Kabul. The helicopters are private. They are very lucky up there. I like seeing them fly around. Up there, in the air, they can’t see us anymore. They can fly wherever they want and land wherever they want. I’d like to fly in a plane one day. My father has flown.” –  from Skateistan: A Tale of Skateboarding in Afghanistan. Our book contains much more of Tamana’s great wisdom alongside photos, Skateistan’s history and other stories from the Afghan youth and staff.

Last week, we sat down for another chat with Tamana to ask her some more about Skateistan and her thoughts:

What is your favorite skateboard trick?
My favorite skateboard trick is Ollie.
Can you tell us about something you are proud of?
I am proud to be an honest and brave Afghan girl.

In the Skateistan book, I have read that you would rather not marry. Can you explain why that is?
First I want to get an education, achieve my life goals, become a doctor and serve my people. Then I will get married.
How often do you come to Skateistan?
At first I was coming to Skateistan once a week as a student. But now I’m helping as a skate instructor and come daily.
Some people think of skateboarding as a sport only for boys. What do you think?
In my opinion sport is for every human being not only for males.
So when a boy can skate why can’t a girl? Do you think you will still be skateboarding when you are older? Would you allow your daughters to do it?
Of course, yes ­– everyone needs exercise. And skating is my favorite sport so I will continue it and will allow my daughters to skate.
Do you do any activities other than skateboarding at Skateistan? What do you like best?
I play other sports like football, basketball and volleyball but skating is my favorite one.
Tamana also took part in TEDxKabul on Oct.11, skating in a demo with nine other youths from Skateistan.

Student Profile: Cambodia

Sumnang & KankeroutAges 9 & 12
This week we caught up with two of our students who started skating a couple of months before the new Skateistan Cambodia park opened, when we were running outdoor sessions in front of our office.  We asked them about skating, what else they do for fun, and what their future plans are.

Twelve-year-old Kankerout came to the city from Kampung Chinan province six years ago, and Sumnang, age 9, moved to Phnom Penh from Vietnam when he was just a year old. The two live on the same block and got to know each other by playing outside together. Both started skating about three months ago and say they were drawn to it because it was strange and exciting, and looked a little scary.

Sumnang says when he skates he’s never afraid and always feels happy. He says he was surprised when he saw the new park because there are large ramps, so he can go fast and try new tricks. When he’s not skating he also enjoys drawing and painting, and is planning to become a police officer when he grows up.

When asked what her favourite thing is about skating, Kankerout says simply that it makes her feel happy, and she also admits she enjoys wearing the skate shoes. She hasn’t been to the new park yet, as her parents prefer her not to go too far from her house, but hopes to keep skating so she can one day become a skateboarding teacher for other kids.

With more students signing up for classes each week, these two friends can feel proud to be some of Phnom Penh’s first skateboarders!

More about Skateistan... HERE

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