Peace Day – “Bringing People Together”

Skateistan held its first celebration of International Peace Day on September 24, 2009. Around 100 people gathered in the almost-finished 1800 square metre skate facility to attend the event. The event attracted and brought together a wide diversity of people including the girls and boys that enjoy skateboarding, their parents, internationals working in Kabul and the Afghan and international press. Dignitaries that attended included Mullah Shams Rahman and the President of the Afghan National Olympic Committee General Zahir Aghbar.

Peace Day started with the Afghan National Anthem. Since the anthem is relatively new, some audience members didn’t recognize it immediately and took some time to realize that it was more appropriate to stand up than sit down. General Aghbar then officially opened the ceremony with a short greeting emphasizing the role of sport as a initiative for peace. The President was followed by Mullah Shams Rahman who pointed out that sport activities such as skateboarding are completely approved by the Holy Quran and that prophet Muhammad encouraged his wife to take part in sports. Representing the skate kids, 10-year-old Mahro said: “Skateistan has shown me that sport is fun and that it can bring different people together which is important for building trust, and trust is the basis for peace in Afghanistan.”

After the speeches, while media and visitors were viewing the press exhibition with the most prominent articles about Skateistan, the kids showed off what they like the most: skateboarding. And because sport and even peace can't happen without getting hungry and thirsty from time to time, Sargon Heinrich, representing Skateistan's sponsor ACCL, kindly provided food and beverages for all the Skateistan kids and visitors.