Since Faranaz began attending classes at the Skateistan skatepark, she progressed to the point where she was welcomed onto the teaching staff as a girls’ instructor in the fall of 2010. She also excelled in advanced art classes. During one semester, the girls painted old skateboard decks, and Faranaz oversaw the completion of a giant wooden butterfly sculpture made out of broken boards. Early on during her time with Skateistan, Faranaz developed problems with her sight. The team took her to an optometrist, who prescribed glasses and treatment to prevent the on-set of blindness. She had been suffering from an eye infection that afflicts many children in Afghanistan whose families must live in crowded and unhygienic conditions.
In the summer of 2010, Faranaz was chosen to take part in a Skateistan photojournalism project called 'Through My Eyes'. This gave her a voice, which she used to talk about her past and present home life outside of Skateistan. In the summer of 2011, one year after this film project was completed, Faranaz left Kabul permanently, when her family made the move north to a village near Mazar-e-Sharif at the insistence of her older brother. By January 2012 she was engaged. The 'Through My Eyes' project gives a glimpse into her life, as a 13-year-old girl living in Kabul. It is at once a very personal story, and one that contains shadows of the lives of millions of other young women living in Afghanistan today.
Drawing from the ‘Through my eyes’ project and personal interviews, Faranaz’s story is shared at greater length in the Skateistan book ‘Skateistan – The Tale of Skateboarding in Afghanistan’.
This 320-page colour book features stunning, previously unpublished photographs accompanied by essays, interviews and personal stories from Skateistan's founder Oliver Percovich and the young Afghans that have gone from being students to teachers in the skatepark and classrooms. Full of hope, beauty, gritty honesty – and skateboards! – this is a story about Afghanistan that you won’t find anywhere else.
Purchase your own copy now on Amazon, with 100% of profits going to Skateistan's programming for youth in Afghanistan and Cambodia.