Bahara Qoerayshie, 21 years old, was born in Kabul and currently is living in Best, Eindhoven (The Netherlands).
I guess soccer kind of runs in the family. My father was a goalkeeper and played indoor soccer just like my older brother. Because I joined them a lot, watching their game, I started to feel the urge to play soccer myself. Before, I played volleyball, handball, took judo and taekwondo classes, but none of these sports where giving me the satisfaction I was looking for. When I told my parents that I wanted to play soccer as well my dad asked me; “why soccer Bahara, why not stay with volleyball? In 2008 I joined the club “the Wilhelmina boys” and currently I play with Best Vooruit. I play both soccer and indoor soccer. I like indoor soccer because your more involved in the game and because it’s a very tactical game.
When I found out about the multi-cultural tournament taking place in Amsterdam, I started to gather around a team of Afghan girls so we could participate in this tournament. This year, we participated for the second time and I can see a positive evolution. The team is much better, stronger, and better organized now. By starting this team, I got to know more girls and created a special bond with them.
Due to the scouting in Amsterdam by a delegation of the National Afghan Women’s team, I got into to the selection of the 32 players.
Being part of that selection is like a dream coming true.
One day I was chatting with Khalida Popal using the chat function on Facebook. She told me that the Afghan Federation announced the selection of the 32 girls. I looked it up, saw my name on it, took a picture of it and posted it on Facebook. I wanted everybody to know.
My family was so proud me being part of the selection for the National team, our own National Women's Soccer Team! I always wished for Afghanistan to be represented with a women's national team and now we were given this opportunity.
A couple of years ago, I was talking with Shabnam Mobarez, I told her that it would be great to have our own National Team, and look now! Here we are.
I’m happy and honored that there are people out there who believe in us and started this project. I know it will take a lot of hard work to get to the final selection of 23 but I will do anything in my power to make it. It will take self-discipline, respect, and sacrifice to make this work. I hope that the other girls understand this and hope they will take part in this project with the same attitude.
We still have a long way to go before we reach our goal, just like my father had to go a long way to get us all to The Netherlands, just to assure our future. My father left Kabul, traveled to Pakistan, Russia and many more countries to get to The Netherlands. When he was granted asylum, granted permanent residence, we joined him in The Netherlands. Although it wasn’t easy, my father never gave up and achieved his goal, bringing his family to safety.
I’m a lot like my father; I will never give up either. I want the Afghan National Women’s Soccer team to go all the way and to show Afghanistan that we women can also bring pride to the country. I want the team to win the South Asian Football Federation Championship in November, get attention, and show the entire world.
I want to contribute in this, be part of this. I want to send a message to the world. Afghan girls or women are not supposed to sit at home. I want to motivate the Afghan girls to go out there, chase your dreams, go do sports, fight for what you want in life but most of all,….believe in yourselves and NEVER GIVE UP because…YES WE CAN!!!!!