Karate is a sport often associated with the Chinese. Remember growing up watching all those Bruce Lee movies? Well one of own has done the unimaginable.
It is very rare in Pakistan that mainstream and social media picks up stories from a marginalized community. This is especially true for the Hazaras, who are regularly persecuted and always live in the fear of losing their lives. They rarely have the space or the advantage to avail the opportunities that life has to offer.
For someone to get out of that setting and make a name for themselves is beyond remarkable, more so when that person is a woman, and this woman from Quetta is exceptionally remarkable.
Kulsoom grew up in the very chaotic environment of the city of Quetta. Her parents passed away when she was one, and was taken under the guardianship of her brother in law. Her passion for Karate began at the very young age, and she has been training since the age of three.
She is the only female karate player in South Asia who has consecutively managed to win three championships.
We are talking about three gold medals here!
In a recent championship in Sri Lanka, she won three golds. And she also managed to retain this hat-trick in national games in Lahore. In the weight category, she has been a champion for the last 15 years.
Kulsoom is a ray of hope for women who want to pursue their passion for sports and be positive contributors to society
She has fought against all odds to be at this position, and we as Pakistanis should provide her all the support possible. The community did not support the idea of a woman fighting like the “boys”. The federal government did not appreciate her efforts to represent Pakistan on international platforms. And lastly, her hijab was infinitely questioned. Despite all of that, she went on. Let us all give her the respect and appreciation that she deserves.
Here’s a look at how she got to where she is:
Cover image via: hazarasinkarachi.wordpress.com