My name is Mina Ahmadi, I'm 19 years old and live in a small town near Hamburg in Germany with my mother, my brother and two sisters. I was born and raised in Germany after my parents fled from Afghanistan in 1992 due to the war.
First, my parents went to Moscow where my father had a house. Being a professional wrestler and part of the Afghan national team himself, he often travelled to Russia to participate in competitions. With time, he provided the necessary support to also help my mother’s family to flee to Moscow. In 1995, they went to live in Germany where I was born. Here, I was brought up to both embrace the western culture and the Afghan culture.
Having grown up with an older brother who played football himself, I was fascinated with this sport at an early age. While watching my older brother play in his team, I discovered my interest to start football myself and soon started to always play on the sideline. My parents saw my growing interest in football so they let me start playing in a club. Their support was immense and my football games soon began to be a family activity on the weekend, my whole family used to always watch every game of me. I loved it and they loved it!
Football was always a part of my life and became my passion in a very early age. The support I received from not only my family but from my coaches, teammates and their families had a huge impact on my affinity to football. They made it possible for me to keep going when things got difficult, so the huge support and my love in playing this sport kept me going. And by now, I can’t imagine living my life without football and hopefully never have to.
Until I got in contact with the team I have never come across any Afghan female soccer players, I thought that many girls weren't allowed to play or just didn't have any interest to do so. So to be told that there even is an Afghan national team was very surprising. Manija was the one who introduced me to the idea of playing in the national team, she approached me during a football tournament in Hamburg and told me all about the team and their goals. She asked if I would want to be part of the team, I really am thankful that she did and that I was soon selected in the player pool because meeting so many other female Afghans who share the same strive to play soccer and being assisted by such a professional staff is a really great experience. You ultimately forge a whole new connection to your motherland and family who is filled with pride to see their home country in such a good light and you representing it.
Being part of this team is really special because by playing soccer on this level together we are going to exceed all boundaries. It connects people in every corner of the world and serves as a strong tool to encourage peace, passion and equality worldwide.
We share not only the same origin, language but also the same passion, and (even more important) the humor.
With that high level of motivation from everyone I am sure that we will succeed in our preparations for the SAFF games and that we will end up facing our opponents as a union. All of us will give their very best in order to accomplish something great with our team!