Testimonials

Skateistan has thousands of supporters around the world. They include professional athletes, artists, students, teachers and anyone else you could imagine. Occasionally we get a testimonial from someone who stands out from the crowd, who excels in their own field and inspires. We're very proud to share their testimonials with you.

Sports

Tony Hawk Tony Hawk
Pro Skater

'Skateistan is the epitome of what skating is all about. Raising awareness and providing that outlet is an incredible accomplishment. I honestly share in the excitement those kids feel!'
Jen O'Brien Jen O'brien
Pro Skater

'Skateistan is such an awesome program. It is such a blessing to be able to share skateboarding with these kids. Skateboarding has the potential to empower these children, and give them a positive outlet to the suffering so many have faced. I am very proud to be a supporter of the program.'
Jon Comer
Pro Skater

'Skateistan is further proof that overcoming adversity is universal and that passion and inspiration triumph over circumstance every time. Skateboarding is a worldly language, and these kids are a reminder that if you follow your dreams, nothing is impossible.'
Kenny Reed at Skateistan. Kenny Reed
Pro Skater

'Before arriving in Afghanistan to Skateistan I had no idea what to really expect. I tried to keep an open mind, all I knew for sure was that there would be kids smiling and having fun. I was not at all disappointed!'
Mimi Knoop Mimi Knoop
Pro Skater

'The power of sport is immeasurable. I could not think of a better gift to bestow upon these children than the skateboarding programs Skateistan has developed and implemented in Afghanistan. The empowerment and joy these kids are able to learn and experience through skateboarding will stick with them forever... and leave them with skills to live more hopeful, positive futures in Afghanistan. The joy of skateboarding is a simple truth that has the power to break down differences across all cultures, countries and genders. We can all learn something from skateboarding!'
Steve Nesser Steve Nesser
Pro Skater

'Teaching people about skateboarding and showing kids how much fun and how free you can be with your skateboard is what its all about. To do what Skateistan is doing in Afghanistan is amazing !'
Madars Apse Madars Apse
Pro Skater

'I got to meet Noorzai and Morza in Dubai, their first time at the Sea besides numerous other things. I was amazed to see the simplicity in their eyes and honesty. They are teachers in Skateistan, they teach the youths meaningful values in life, that is a fact!'
Arto Saari Arto Saari
Pro Skater

'What a rad place….I'd like to somehow get over there someday to help and shoot photos! This book [Skateistan: The Tale of Skateboarding in Afghanistan] makes me wanna go now.'
Chris Haslam Chris Haslam
Pro Skater

'Skateistan is really spreading the word of what skating really is to places, to people that really need it... Thank you from the skating community. '
Louisa Menke Louisa Menke
Pro Skater

'When I went to Afghanistan I had no idea what to expect, I couldn't imagine how it would be because I'd never been in a war zone before. When I arrived at the airport it felt like I had landed in a surrealistic world, into a beautiful country with beautiful people which had been taken over by war. Skateistan is a place that makes you forget about the war for a little bit, it's a place where you can skate and enjoy yourself.'
Jordan Richter Jordan Richter
Pro Skater

'I feel a close connection to the Skateistan project for many reasons. First and foremost, this project provides a venue for the children of Afghanistan to discover their voice amidst the chaos around them. The sport develops a sense of true bond between other skaters, a bond, that for myself helped me overcome my own life challenges. To see it now being used in this scenario gives me hope that it would surpass all human borders. I commend the skateistan crew for their immense courage and dedication in forming such a project. The intention is obvious, the spirit behind it is pure and the healing it provides is priceless.'
Hamid Rahimi. Credit: Hansi Herbig Hamid Rahimi
Pro Boxer

'Boxing has changed my life. It has given me an escape from a circle of violence and a lack of prospects. Through the sport I learned to think big, earning respect and recognition. The youth of Afghanistan needs exactly these things, which they've had no access to for so many years.'
David Benedek. Credit: Hansi Herbig David Benedek
Pro Snowboarder

'The devastating situation in Afghanistan affects children and youth especially. Therefore I'm happy to see that Skateistan has taken on the task of brightening up their lives, and giving them back at least a piece of their everyday lives as normal kids. What Skateistan does and achieves is more than inspiring, and definitely worth supporting.'
Timo Pritzel Timo Pritzel
Pro Mountain Biker

'It is so nice that the Skateistan people are dedicating their time towards the children in a region that the rest of the world has abandoned already. It is so important that the kids there learn to be kids again. Watching the kids made me realize how much fear and toughness they have inside because of their difficult day-to-day lives in Afghanistan. To celebrate life again through skateboarding is just brilliant!'

Media

Stacey Peralta Stacey Peralta
Film Director / Former Pro Skater [USA]

'Watching young Afghan skaters in the film <em>Skateistan</em> made me realize why I've spent my entire life as a skateboarder.'
Jenna Selby Jenna Selby
Photographer and Filmmaker

'It’s amazing to see the opportunities offered to these young people through Skateistan. Not only does the project help redefine peoples notion in a positive way about this city and the people who live there, which was previously pre-empted by a world media showing only images of a war stricken country. At grass roots, it also helps a social change come about. The kids, girls and boys, from different social and economic backgrounds realise that they are not so different from one another and that equality can be realised – something so important which will filter through to their adulthood.'
DJ Besho DJ Besho
Hip Hop Artist

'Afghanistan's youth needs progress and hope. The Afghan youth must not be abandoned, but included into the development of their own country. I say fight with your voice, not with a weapon. I try to give Afghan youth a voice through my music, so does Skateistan through its sporting and educational activities. I believe that only youth can bring peace and prosperity to Afghanistan.'

Academia

Nancy Dupree Nancy Dupree
Afghanistan Historian

'Afghanistan has passed through over thirty years of turmoil during which children grew up in exile surrounded by negative attitudes towards compatriots of different ethnic and secular groups. Suspicions abounded, tolerance, a hallmark, was undermined; trust faded. These children returned to a war-torn city without spaces for play or city-wide interchanges. Skateistan offers them much more than a spacious outlet for healthy sporting activity. Here children of all backgrounds meet, compete, and learn to play and work merrily and respectfully with one another thus setting the patterns for future harmonious interactions through life. Only with such positive attitudes can the nation move forward to take its place with dignity among the comity of nations.'
Jochen Schweitzer Jochen Schweitzer
UTS Business School

'Skateistan is an inspiring case of social entrepreneurship and innovation. You are re-inventing NGOs and you provide fresh models for aid organisations to connect the ones who need help with the ones who can help. I hope that people around the world follow Skateistan’s example of combining their passion for sports like skateboarding with helping kids to have a better future.'

GET OUR NEWSLETTER