Growing up in Afghanistan, Kawser Amine was able to dream of things previously unheard of in her country. When the Taliban took over, all that ended.
When I was nine, I decided to play professional soccer. As a young woman in Kabul, this was actually possible. The country was opening and growing, women were finding access to education. My mother was a journalist.
I started playing soccer in school. When I played, I could just be myself and not think about what many in my country thought. Some in my own family thought girls should marry young and stay at home, and sometimes angry men threw acid on girls walking to class
But we persisted.
When I was selected to join Afghanistan National Women’s Team, it was the best feeling of my life. I was moving forward, but I still hid my soccer uniform traveling between practice and home. Our team faced bomb threats. To the Taliban, we were enemies.