So here is this image by a German artist named Nabi Nara.

I have no idea what the hell the other pictures are trying to say and I don’t really care.

I am not interested in politicizing, ostracizing or equalizing a s/he discussion on burqas.

However, I do like this *specific* image. Whether or not it’s a part of a larger exhibit, I am not sure.

But it resonates with me.

It reinforces that whatever someone appears to be – don’t be misled. They may be able to school you on the pitch.

To think that a woman may not be interested in sports, art or music because of her customs, beliefs or whether she is (un)veiled is absurd and ignorant.

She can smash assumptions.

I don’t wear a burqa but I am confident that I can keep up or beat a lot of people. The same people who look at me and assume because I am a woman of color, a mother and a wife -wearing a headscarf- that *I* can’t play.

I can.

I will.

So will my daughter.

Football is for all of us.


Shireen Ahmed is a frontline worker in Social Services, writer and footballer. Her passions include her amazing family for online personal loans, Barca, coffee and her two cats. She writes about her experiences in football and sport in her blog “Tales of a Hijabi Footballer”.


  1. Inspiring Shireen. Striving to allow the same for my daughters. Much needs to be done in this region. Inshallah, the tide will turn towards us as we inch closer towards driving 🙂

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