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Shireen Ahmed

Aghan women cyle team

I asked Kyleanne Hunter [member of the Afghan women's national cycling team] to explain the disservice caused by misinformation being spread through mainstream media... "the MSM (mainstream media) continues to perpetuate a narrative of the poor, unfortunate, helpless Afghan women..."


Having the opportunity to grow through sport shaped my life. It gave me strength and it propelled my drive. It also gave me the confidence to challenge orthodox opinions about the Islamic perspective of sport. And decide for myself as many women have chosen to do, with the support of their community and country...


Since I started competing and playing, I was not taught to look to media campaigns for encouragement. Quite often I was the only girl of colour participating... My parents told me very sincerely that I could do whatever I wanted. I could play, hit, run hard. So I did.


Even after the scandal made international headlines recently, Africa’s Top Female Player of 2012 [Genoveva Añonma] has not received an apology. Nor will CAF comment on this case. Quelle surprise... The treatment of female players with regard to gender testing is deplorable.


To not look at the funders, producers and organizations associated with this film [Honor Diaries] is not only naive, it is dangerous.... I don’t see much honour in this project.


This is the first time in the history of French football that a woman has been selected to coach a men’s team. In fact she is the first woman to coach a first or second level men’s team in any of Europe’s top five leagues...


After much reluctance and horrible politicization of this issue, in such places as Quebec and France, the long awaited moment has arrived....  For many athletes, this is not a moment of celebration but a moment of sheer relief. Football is for all of us.


I was taught that Islam teaches me to stand up, to be proud and to make the most of the skills Allah swt gave me... My family is great, Alhumdullilah. My sons watch me play... My husband cheers me on... My daughter follows my footsteps. She wants to play 'forever'. My parents still cheer me on.


I recently penned a letter to a Canadian journalist whose article was sent to me by a friend..... I was pleased to read it. Until the last paragraph plunged into a racist, Islamophobic, ridiculous abyss lined with veils.


This journey is an exercise in learning about communication. For all. It’s about smashing assumptions and perhaps having our own biases challenged... Tthis story should actually be the norm: women, regardless of race, religion, culture, or sexual identity, sharing and working together...


May 2013: By Shireen Ahmed - "Mario Balotelli and Fanny Neguesha were victims of vicious, false rumours.... They both deserve public apologies and retractions- from every site that offered this tripe.


April 2013: By Shireen Ahmed - "Worst part is as a Muslim, runner and athlete, although I am furious and devastated by this tragedy, I will not be surprised when hate is flung my way; my community’s way..."