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My Beautiful Sisters: A Story of Courage, Hope and the Afghan Women’s Football Team

Khalida Popal

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From the publisher:

'Riveting, heart-wrenching and incredibly important . . .

an inspirational story for girls and women everywhere' MALALA YOUSAFZAI, Nobel Peace Prize laureateA story of survival, sisterhood and the fight for feminism in the age of the Taliban. August 2021: Kabul falls to the Taliban. Overnight, life for women across Afghanistan changes.

The national women's football team faces an imminent threat to their lives, just for playing sport. For Khalida Popal, the team's first captain and co-founder, this is not an unprecedented event. Born in Afghanistan, as a child she fled Taliban rule with her family and grew up in a refugee camp in Pakistan.

On her return to Afghanistan, football gave her and her teammates power, comradeship and freedom. But advocating for women's rights in sport put Popal's life increasingly at risk, forcing her to flee the country, this time alone. As a refugee in Denmark, Popal worked to uncover widespread sexual abuse of players by the former president of the Afghanistan Football Federation - forcing FIFA and the government of Afghanistan to act.

When Kabul falls Khalida is safe, but her teammates are left behind. Against all the odds, she and a small but mighty network of allies orchestrate an international evacuation strategy to save them. My Beautiful Sisters is a gripping memoir about courage, the power of teamwork against all odds and the existence of hope in dark times.

The author:

Khalida Popal is a former captain of the Afghanistan National Women's Football Team and played a pivotal role in establishing the team. She is also the founder and director of the Girl Power Organisation and holds the position of Program and Event Director for the Afghanistan Women's National Football Team. She serves as a Purpose Lead for the Right to Dream Organisation, is a member of the UNHCR Sport for Refugees Coalition, a regular public speaker, and mentors at the Women Sport Leadership Academy. Popal is a dedicated women's rights activist and is passionate about greater inclusion and integration of refugees. She has been awarded numerous awards including the Leaders in Sport U40 Class of 2019 Award, the UEFA Equal Game Award and The Lantos Human Rights Prize which was presented by the Lantos Foundation.

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Fourth Estate Ltd.
20 x 13 cm
Paperback
320 pages
March 2010
English
9780007330799