On Thursday October 11th 2012 the first ever TEDx event was organised in Kabul, Afghanistan. The day long event, hosted by the French Cultural Center, included speakers from a large range of social, cultural and entrepreneurial projects across the country.
During the morning and lunchtime breaks Skateistan was invited to give a skateboarding demonstration. Ten of our students and skateboard instructors came along to showcase their skills.
The girls : Tamana, Parisa, Madina, Durkhanai and Hanifa
The boys: Merza, Noorzai, Navid, Bilal and Farid
We are also extremely proud that two of the speakers at the event were Skateistan's very own staff members, Mariam Shareefy and Madina Saidy - featured during the Conflict and Culture session.
Mariam spoke about a deep rooted 'Copy and Paste' culture, which she beleives to be endemic in Afghanistan's culture and education system. Her speech was one of only two speeches to receive a standing ovation. A university lecturer in the creative arts, even mentioned at the start of his speech that Mariam had made him think twice about the speech he was about to give!
Madina (14), skateboarded onto the TEDx stage and told the captivating story of her childhood, of how she supported her 9-member family through working on the streets of Kabul, and how she eventually got involved in skateboarding and with Skateistan. Madina has been a volunteer skate teacher with Skateistan since early 2011, and staff since early 2012.
Following TEDx, the online and community response to Mariam and Madina's talks have been inspiring. In the coming weeks the talks will be availble to stream from the TEDxKabul website, and we'll be sure to feature them on our blog.
Tamana rocks out her TEDxKabul pass
Bilal pops a rad ollie at TEDxKabul
Parisa, Madina and Hanifa hang out at TED
The Skateistan skate team
Merza Frontside Boardslides the rail
High Ollies from Noorzai at the French cultural center
Durkhanai pops an ollie off the kicker