Mar 29th, 2023 |
Masomah Alizada (IOC Refugee Team): Cycling for Hope
Masomah is the first female Olympic cyclist from Afghanistan, and getting to the Olympics hasn't just been a battle against her own skills and competitors, but also against the Taliban. In this episode, Masomah discusses her departure from Afghanistan, journey to Tokyo as part of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Refugee Team, and how she cycles for not only freedom but also for the solidarity of women everywhere. As Masomah says, she shares her story to make sure Afghan women are heard and represented.
According to Masomah, " I'm sure one day, things will change. Now it's like a dark night, but the light of day will arrive...maybe in some years or maybe in some months, but it will arrive. The rights of woman will be given back. So, we have to be hopeful. I continue to think about the women of my country and say that we will never forget you."
For our listeners who want to show support from around the world, Masomah shares that Afghan women take notice when women from other countries share their stories. "When they see that people in USA, Europe, and other countries don't forget them, it's big for the women. Even if nothing changes in action, when women of Afghanistan see that people think about them, it gives them hope."
Contributing experts include Dr. Sima Samar (Former Chair, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission), Rukhsar Habibzai (Masomah's friend and fellow Afghan professional cyclist), and Zahra Alizada (Sister).