Somalia – Women Play Basketball as a Symbol of New Freedom

There is really not much goodnews from Somalia; therefore this story is all the more welcomed. As soon as the al-Shabaab militia has left Mogadishu, the national women Basketball team has come together and prepares for the upcoming Arab games in Qatar. During five training sessions as week, the young women switch their Burkas against (long-sleeved) sport dresses and make themselves ready for their grand goal: Showing the world that they still exist.

Brightnews! Without much doubt, these girls live in upper class families and are privileged in many ways. Nonetheless, their effort deserves credit because they take considerable risk in pursuing their sport despite very serious death threats. But is it appropriate to invest so much time and energy in Basketball while there are still children, women and men starving to death probably only a few kilometres away? I cannot give the answer but I understand if people support the women’s activity. Participating in the Arab games symbolises a slow normalisation of life in war- hunger and ideology stricken Somalia. It is also a strong sign of self-determination of women and of tolerance. Who knows, by chance they may win a game and this may even make a conservative heart proud? How big a benefit would that be?

Source: Die Zeit


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