From 13-Year Old Skater to 14-Year Old Bride
Since Faranaz began attending classes at the Skateistan skatepark, she progressed to the point where she was welcomed onto the teaching staff as a girls’ instructor in the fall of 2010. She also excelled in advanced art classes. During one semester, the girls painted old skateboard decks, and Faranaz oversaw the completion of a giant wooden butterfly sculpture made out of broken boards. Early on, during her time with Skateistan, Faranaz developed problems with her vision. The team took her to an optometrist, who prescribed glasses and treatment to prevent the on-set of blindness. She had been suffering from an eye infection that afflicts many children in Afghanistan whose families live in over crowded and unhygienic conditions.
In the summer of 2010, Faranaz was chosen to take part in a Skateistan photojournalism project called "Through My Eyes." This gave her a voice, which she used to talk about her past and present home life outside of Skateistan. "Through My Eyes" gives a glimpse into her life as a 13-year-old girl living in Kabul. It is at once a very personal story, and one that contains shadows of the lives of millions of other young women living in Afghanistan. In the summer of 2011, one year after the film project was completed, Faranaz left Kabul permanently, when her family made the move north to a village near Mazar-e-Sharif at the insistence of her older brother. By January, 2012 she was engaged.
Faranaz’s story is shared at greater length in the Skateistan book Skateistan – The Tale of Skateboarding in Afghanistan. This 320-page color book features stunning, previously unpublished photographs accompanied by essays, interviews and personal stories from Skateistan's founder Oliver Percovich and the young Afghans that have gone from being students to teachers in the skatepark and classrooms. Full of hope, beauty, gritty honesty—and skateboards!—this is a story about Afghanistan—and Faranaz—that you won’t find anywhere else.
Add purchasing your own copy of Skateistan – The Tale of Skateboarding in Afghanistan to your To-Do list here. 100 percent of profits go to Skateistan's programming for youth in Afghanistan and Cambodia.