Kabul Biker Gang Gets Some Bikes

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Ask anyone you know about their love of bikes and they all say something about freedom.  “I feel free when I ride my bike”.  “I love the freedom I feel when I ride.” “Cycling gives you wings.”

In a country where women and girls have not been allowed to ride bikes, and where it is still a deeply seated taboo, there is a two wheeled revolution taking place.  What was a handful of girls just a couple years ago, is steadily growing and growing without the oversight of men.  Girls teaching girls to ride.  In Kabul, in Bamiyan, and in other pockets in the country women are empowering themselves with freedom of mobility.

Last summer, as we were working with the national team in Kabul and  riding bikes with two young women in Bamiyan, a young Afghan woman was spearheading her own bike clubs as part of a Girl Up project.  Fatima Haidari goes to high school in the US and spends her summers back in Kabul with her family.  We found out about her project and fell in love with the photos she posted of her and the girls in Kabul riding bikes they had borrowed.

Last month, we donated ten bikes to the club so that the girls would have some bikes of their own to ride.  Our longtime friend and fixer, Najibullah met Nahid, who had become the de facto leader of the club while Fatima is away at school, at the bike market to purchase bikes for the girls and arrange delivery.  The film crew from Afghan Cycles was in country finishing production and was able to be there for the delivery and interview the girls who have formed their own biker gang Kabul-style.

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The bike has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. Its gives women a feeling of freedom and self reliance.  I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.” Susan B. Anthony

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If you’d like to support this two wheeled revolution – you can donate here – what we do doesn’t happen without your help!

photo credit Jenny Nichols

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6 thoughts on “Kabul Biker Gang Gets Some Bikes

  1. Loran Galpin says:

    I love seeing the joy and variety of bikes and bikers in these photos . Its obvious that this is not just about young people saw older women enjoying the experience as well .

    So glad you were able to get bikes to these ladies . I know how hard you had to work and how little support you really had in doing this . I know you are now running on empty and every thing and more that you have has been poured into this cause.

    I worry about you constantly but I love your passion , your energy , and your that you keep fire alive in the hope of making a difference . Just make sure the people that you meet that promise to help do so, as I know almost all have failed to step up and help you .

    At the same time hold onto your dream and pray that people with a heart and resources ,how ever small , will extend a hand to you on this delightfully, special journey of awakening the spirit of freedom and joy that all men and women have a right to experience every day of their lives .

    Love

    dad

  2. Marsha says:

    This is fantastic news Shannon! You did it! (with a little help from your friends, you got some bikes for Fatima Haidari’s Girl Up bikers in Kabul! It’s great you donated ten bikes to this group and that the ‘Afghan Cycles’ crew was there for the delivery! Hope the girls enjoy their bide rides and have safe travels always. Tashakor and Peace!

  3. Lyn says:

    Love love LOVE this. Go girls!

  4. […] bike in Afghanistan. Her nonprofit Moutain 2 Mountain, which advocates for women in conflict zones, donated 10 bikes to club members. For each of the girls, it was her first bike. Before then, they had to borrow from […]

  5. […] bike in Afghanistan. Her nonprofit Moutain 2 Mountain, which advocates for women in conflict zones, donated 10 bikes to club members. For each of the girls, it was her first bike. Before then, they had to borrow from […]

  6. […] bike in Afghanistan. Her nonprofit Moutain 2 Mountain, which advocates for women in conflict zones, donated 10 bikes to club members. For each of the girls, it was her first bike. Before then, they had to borrow from […]

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