Alishah, Sajjad, and other Afghan skiers need your help.
The story of Alishah and Sajjad, Afghanistan’s first Olympic skiers and participants at the World Ski Championships in St. Moritz as well as the story of the Bamyan Ski Club, which has been promoting skiing in Afghanistan since 2011, has been covered by many articles and documentary movies.
Fortunately, they have just been evacuated from Kabul airport with their families and friends, 21 all together, and arrived in Italy on a military plane on monday morning, August 23, 2021. Their rescue is a miracle given the current situation in the country. In Italy they will be supported by a network of Alpistan and the Bamiyan Ski Club. We have already secured free accomodation for the next twelve months. They will apply for refugee status and start a long integration process.
Alishah, Sajjad and the other members of the Ski Club have always been committed to build a future for their community and unveil the beauty of the Afghan mountains to many of us. Today however the situation has radically changed. Our Afghan friends had become targets for the Taliban, who hate sport and tourism. This is why they decided to leave the country.
To meet their urgent needs and ensure long-term integration they need resources. We are therefore fundraising to guarantee 250 euros per person per month for the year to come. In total we need to collect about 60,000 euros. So far 20,000 euros have already been secured thanks to the help of people like you. To participate, send your contribution to this bank account, mentioning as a reason “Contribution to the families of the Afghan skiers”:
Koh-e-Baba Mountain Range, Bamyan Province, Central Afghanistan, approximately 180km west of the capital Kabul.
Uphill, Downhill, Exact course varys. Overall Distance: 2-4 Kilometers, Overall difference in altitude: 600-1200 Meters. Lowest Point: around 2600, Highest Point around 3800.
No weapons allowed. Everyone starts at the same time. The winner is the first person to cross the finish line having successfully registered at all the check points along the way. Skis and Snow Boards are allowed.
The Afghan Ski Challenge is a backcountry ski race, which takes place every spring in Bamyan Province, Central Afghanistan. The event is organized by the Bamyan Ski Club and open to all. Bamyan is the other, unknown Afghanistan. In the 70ies a famous destination on the hippietrail to India, does Bamyan today welcome travelers back once again.The race in February 2015 included 30 participants from Afghanistan and 20 international competitors from the US, Australia, Norway, Slowenia, Finland, New Zealand, France and the UK.
Equipment needed: Skis and skins (and sunprotection!) Snowboarders need snowshoes or a Splitboard.This is a self-sufficient race. All food or water has to be carried by competitors.
Over the years, dozens of local Afghan boys – and since 2013 also girls – have learned to ski with the Bamyan Ski Club ski school every February before the race. A team of international instructors also taught them the basic of avalanche safety.
The Bamyan Ski Club will also open a permanent ski center in Bamyan 2018 and is working hard to put the first ski lift in the mountains of Afghanistan into operation soon.
For 96 CHF a year, you can become a member of the Bamyan Ski Club. As a member you are entitled to the exclusive Bamyan Ski Club Badge and the stylish Ski Club Pin. Twice a year you will receive a newsletter, which keeps you up to date about the club’s activities, and you will be invited to the annual Member’s Cocktail. With a membership your entrance to the Bamyan Ski Club Bar is guaranteed as well as your pool position at the Afghan Ski Challenge at St. Moritz. To register, please fill in the inlay or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you wish to support the Bamyan Ski Club even further, donations are of course very welcome.
Donate with PayPal
Bamyan Ski Club
Mühlebachstrasse 54, 8008 Zürich
IBAN CH19 0483 5125 5530 9100 0
Clearing Nr. 4835