Last December four young Skateistan girls, sisters Tamima (12), Fatima (9), Gulmina (8), and their cousin Suhaila (8) were victims of a suicide attack in Kabul. The treatment they required was unavailable within Afghanistan, but thanks to the Solace for the Children charity, Skateistan donors on Paypal, and the Southern Utah University, the girls were able to receive immediate assistance in the weeks following the attack, and later travel to America in May 2012 with Solace to receive the medical care they required.
On Tuesday all four girls returned to Skateistan Kabul to get back on their skateboards. We caught up with them at the miniramp to see how they're doing and ask about their trip.
Skateistan: How are you doing and how do you feel after your treatment?
Girls: Our first trip was really good, the treatment we received was great, but we still have to return for some more surgery in the future as our injuries still hurt and we still have a lot of pain. But we are unsure of when we will return.
But despite the pain we are going to skateboard as much as we can, even if it's just rolling around while sitting on the board. It's fun and gives us some relief.
What was your experience of America?
It was a really great experience, we got to go do things we had never done before. We went to the cinema, swimming, cycling and to the zoo. We also got to go on picnics and trips to the beach where we made houses and animals out of sand. We got to travel in boats!
How does it feel to be back on a skateboard and being back in Afghanistan?
We're super excited to be back skating. We also saw so many great things in America and we would like to be able to share what we saw with our friends so they could experience them too. It would be great if our friends could go, or even better if our friends could do them here as they could also be with their families then.
Did you make any friends in America?
We met so many people and made lots of friends. We taught the girls we met some Dari and they helped us learn some English. It was really great, we had a joke for the entire time we were there, we would call the American girls “katchaloo” [Potato] and they would call us “Cheese” – is was so great!
Did you learn anything there?
We learnt that you should respect older people and that you should listen to what they say. We also learnt that you should respect where you live and people should not throw away rubbish onto the street. It is really nice to keep the streets clean.
With that the girls couldn't wait any longer as they were desperate to get back on the skateboards and go for a skate. We're glad to have them back in the skatepark!
Back with their friends at Skateistan.
Some pics from the trip: with new friends in the USA. (Photos: Solace for the Children)