By Kristen Johnson
When we think of heroes, we think of people who do extraordinary things against extraordinary odds. Perhaps it’s the firefighter who runs into a burning building, the single mom who works two jobs to support her family, or the minister who stays at the bedside of a dying parishioner. Today’s hero is an Iranian woman working to break down barriers in sports, Mona Seraji.
According to Human Rights Watch, women in Iran are forbidden from watching men’s sports in stadiums, they are forced to wear hijabs in public, can be forbidden by husbands from traveling outside the country, and they can’t play sports.
There are a few things that women are able to do freely in Iran – they can drive, they can attend school and they can work (though a women’s husband can forbid her from working). (The Telegraph). Needless to say, local customs and local laws make life in Iran difficult for women.
So, when we think of a hero in Iran, someone who is fearless and fighting against cultural norms, we can certainly think of Mona Seraji. Ms. Seraji helped set up Iran’s first surfing club three years ago, back when she was known for snowboarding. That’s right – she surfs and snowboards in a country where her testimony in court is considered half as much as a man’s testimony. The club now has 50 members and includes men. The women in the club are following local dress laws, but they are doing it! (NBC News)
Mona – you inspire us. You give us courage. You give us hope. Surf on.
Psalm 27:14 (NRSV): Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
Serve all with love.
Photo courtesy of: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jerm182