Maria Toorpakai Wazir is not just a sportsperson, but also a ray of hope for girls in Pakistan. She showed guts to stand against Taliban, Mullahs without running away from her nation, and has set an example for girls in her country to follow. But, why is it that the western media and the UN do not appreciate her work and her father’s courage with awards, rewards, and recognition?
Dressed and behaved like a boy because girls are forced to live a miserable life
Maria and author Katharine Holstein have recently released a book about Maria’s life. Book is titled-“A Different Kind of Daughter: The Girl Who Hid From the Taliban in Plain Sight.” It highlights the world-class athlete’s struggle in her life and also discusses her efforts to change her future with her own hands.
“At a young age, girls in Pakistan are forced to wear Burkha. They cannot see the world, they cannot see the beauty outside, and do you think this is life?”-asked Maria during her recent interaction with Fareed Zakaria on his show GPS.
Maria Toorpakai Wazir’s home is in Pakistan’s South Waziristan region. The area is often referred as the most dangerous place on this planet because it is in the stronghold area of Taliban and other Islamic extremists.
When Maria was just four years old, she burnt all her girly dresses, wore her brother’s clothes and cut her hair short. Her father was surprised because of this incident and started calling her-Changez Khan.
Maria was good enough to understand the difference between clothes but was unaware regarding the trouble that was approaching her, just because she was born as a girl. With time, perhaps, Maria had realized that she can get freedom and participate in sports only if she starts living like a boy. This is the reason, she started acting and behaving like boys. She competed with boys and won her first weightlifting championship.
“I can be equally good as boys in sports. I wanted to have the kind of freedom that boys have, so I decided to put on my brother’s clothes. I was forced to live as Changez Khan and behave as a boy to participate in my favorite sports,”- said Maria Toorpakai Wazir.
Young girls are not allowed to go to school and girls/women’s participation in sports is considered un-Islamic. Other girls from Maria’s neighborhood were not even allowed to go out of their house alone. But, with her parents’ support, today, Maria Toorpakai Wazir has managed to show the world that even a girl can prove herself to be world’s best squash player.
She lived as a boy until she was twelve years old. People realized that Maria was a girl only when she started playing squash.
“I had freedom, fun, and amazing life while I was dressed up like a boy. But, when people realized that I am a girl, they started treating me very badly. I have lived a life of a boy and life of a girl in Pakistan. I have seen huge differences, and I feel that Pakistani society is unjust to women. I feel that girls should get equal opportunities. Currently, their lives are just wasted,”-said the young sportsperson from Pakistan.
Maria’s father Shamsul Qayyum Wazir faced several threats because of his wife and daughter
Shamsul Qayyum Wazir is Maria’s father and a member of South Waziristan’s prominent political family. Shamsul believed in offering equal rights to girls and boys in his house and this is the reason he often faced ire from elders in his family. He was even denounced by his elders and was tagged mentally ill because of his stance.
Shamsul once again attracted ire when he allowed his wife Yasrab Nayab to complete her education after marriage. Maria’s father survived several attacks on his life because he never forced his wife to wear a burqa.
After tolerating several murder attempts on his life, Shamsul was forced to leave his ancestral house in order to offer a better life to his family which consists of two daughters and four sons. Along with the usual school education, Shamsul also taught them surahs from Quran. He had future plans for both, his sons and daughters right from their childhood days.
People started forcing Maria’s father to keep her inside the house like other girls. Mullahs used to talk about her in the mosque claiming that allowing girls to play sports is not Islamic. But, in spite of all this, he allowed his daughter to pursue her dream.
Maria and her father do not get much of media attention
Malala makes it in headlines as Pakistan’s voice in spite of the fact that she is too scared to go to her country. Maria lives in Pakistan as well as Canada and is not scared to go to her country in spite of threats from radical outfits. Maria and her father’s fight against radical Islamists cannot be termed as anything lesser than Malala’s fight. It is just that Maria’s father does not cash-in on his daughter’s popularity. He can easily start collecting donations in his daughter’s name and open two-three private schools like Malala’s father in order to claim fame.
Pakistan’s number one squash player has taken several initiatives and urged the Pakistani government to promote sports among girls. But, her work is never highlighted much by mainstream media. On the other hand, Malala makes it in headlines even if she walks from one lane to the other in the UK.
Anyway, libtards and the UN won’t ask Maria to give speeches because she would definitely criticize Taliban, Mullahs, and Pakistan. She would perhaps urge the UN to look into the condition of girls in Pakistan. On the other hand, Malala talks nonsense that every progressive liberal intellectual is habited to hear.