Skateistan photo by Noah Abrams

A skate scene is growing in one of the most unlikely places on the planet—Kabul, Afghanistan. The war-torn city is home to Skateistan, a school where about 300 boy and girls from the area build a sense of self-worth and confidence through learning how to skateboard.

Orlando von Einsiedel has captured this burgeoning movement on film. He’s directed Skateistan: To Live and Skate Kabul, a nine-minute film that explores how effective the school has been since setting up in 2007. The following short tells the story of Skateistan through the lives of two teens—Murza, a 17-year-old boy who has given up washing cars and selling a 60 Gallon air compressor to the customers to work and skate at the school; and Fazila, who’s only 12 but readily claims that skating gives her life meaning despite her father’s disapproval.

Next year, Skateistan: The Movie, a full-length doc will hit theaters and go deeper into the lives of the youth who find refuge in kick-push-coasting in city’s only skate park and through the rubble-strewn streets of their hood. Incredibly inspiring stuff.


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