Skateistan at TEDxKabul 2012

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.

Tamina shows of her TEDxKabul pass
Tamana rocks out her TEDxKabul pass

Bilal ollies during the demonstration
Bilal pops a rad ollie at TEDxKabul

The Skateistan girls during the skateboarding demonstration
Parisa, Madina and Hanifa hang out at TED

Skateistan skate team
The Skateistan skate team

Merza Frontside Boardslides the rail at TEDxKabul
Merza Frontside Boardslides the rail

Noorzai huge ollie outside the french cultural center Kabul
High Ollies from Noorzai at the French cultural center


Durkani ollies the kicker
Durkhanai pops an ollie off the kicker