Afghanistan: "Go Skateboarding Day" in Kabul (photo)


An Afghan girl takes part in a skate boarding competition to mark the third annual Go Skateboarding Day in Kabul, on June 21, 2011.
(REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail)


  1. As a kid, skateboarding was not only a fun pastime, but also a ticket to a life outside of the boring and relatively unpleasant one that high school offered. While I felt ostracized by most of my other peers, I was astonished to find that the majority of skaters were friendly to me right off the bat, based solely on our love of the same sport and it’s subculture. Now, more than twenty years (!) after getting that first Nash, I still ride my skateboard regularly, and I still count some of the guys I used to roll around with as a teen as some of my closest friends, and I honestly cannot even begin to imagine how different my life would be if I had never been a skater. As a result, I cannot overstate how happy it makes me that Go Skateboarding Day exists at all, let alone the fact that it is already being observed worldwide. It is truly heartwarming to imagine that some of the kids in this photo, and countless others like them, may be taking the first couple of pushes down a path not unlike my own.

  2. I guess the hope is that skateboards are too small to be mistaken for Taliban convoys by Predator drones.

    (Why are the Olympic rings on the fence to the right? Were the Olympics held at one point in Kabul?)

  3. Better take down this picture when the Taliban come back – that’s pretty much a death sentence.

  4. I have fond memories of skateboarding in India, mostly on roads that looked like that..the trick was that I put huge longboard wheels on my regular deck..for six months it was my main transportation, through a record monsoon season with eight inch deep puddles, big piles of cow poo all over, grabbing the bars of tuk-tuks and scarily soaring along, slicing through narrow bazaar alleys, melting through the whole menagerie of motorbikes, cars, bicycles, animals, scooters, dogs, and who knows what else that make up the beautifully and harmoniously anarchistic streets of India.

    I love skateboards :)

    They’re great while traveling…

    And I love India, and that whole part of the world!

    When I was there, around 2004, skateboards were unheard of..after much looking, I found a shop that basically bolted 4″ wide skateboard trucks onto an awkward board. Awful!

    But, it was PARADISE when I finally found the tiny little shop that sold NOTHING but ball bearing rings ;) they had almost 50 varieties of 608z! =-D

  5. The kids in India just seemed to have a knack for skateboarding. Most of them could at least ride along on it first try, without ever having done it before.

    I would always let the street kids take off on it while I ate lunch or whatever. It was always fine, sometimes it took 20 minutes but it always come back. I’d turn my head to the peals of joy and see like four kids all sitting back to back on it flying down the little hill ;)

    Want to have fun and become a millionaire? Turn India onto skateboards!

  6. you’ll see olympic rings throughout kabul on billboards. they are very proud of their first-ever olympic medal winner. in 2008 Rohullah Nekpa got the bronze in tae kwon do.

  7. Great photo! My eyes popped-out of my head at the sight of that amazingly beautiful dress worn by the cool little skater chick. Call me a cultural imperialist, but I would so love a bolt of that fabric, with those *spectacular* mirror appliqués. I’d think there would be a market for such beautiful clothing, but outside of a museum collection or two there was not much to be found online. I’d think increased clothing exports from Afghanistan would help to bolster their economy a little bit. Trade not aid?

    I remember listening to a Fresh Air interview a few years ago about a reporter, Sarah Chayes, who covered the war in Afghanistan and then decided to stay in the country and start-up a business employing men and women at equal pay in a SOAP MAKING ENTERPRISE. Talk about a life’s work! And just wait until you see this stuff! The little soaps look like hand-polished pieces of marble stone, or the enchanted eggs of mythical species. They are exquisite, and, as I just discovered this evening, available online. Infused with essential oils expressed from almonds, pomegranates and other locally grown natural products that are not opium, these soaps are game changers, people. Get some!

    The company founder/saint/total badass tells about the process of getting the business started in this article in The Atlantic. Very inspiring! Go Afghanistan! Soap not bombs!

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