A young girl chasing her dream

This story is about dedication, hard work, discipline and passion. 

Naven is a Yazidi girl from Shingal who currently lives in Sharya/Dohuk with her family.  As all other people in the area, she was forcibly displaced to safety after ISIS attacked her hometown of Shingal. 

But war did not take her dream of being a professional football player. In my recent interview with her, I asked when her love for playing football began. She replied: “I’ve loved football since childhood, and my family and friends were very supportive.” I also asked what she did to learn more, and to reach her goal. “I practiced almost every day,” Naven explained. “In our front yard, school sports field, anywhere I could.”  

Yazidi football player, Naven

Recently, Naven was selected as the first Yazidi girl to become an official football player on the Dohuk women’s football team. She said, “I think I’ve never been as happy as the day I heard I was selected in the team. I am very humbled and proud to be able to accomplish this success. 

She added: “Lastly, my message to all the young girls and boys out there is that always believe in yourself, your dreams, and work very passionately to reach them. Also, dedication is the key to success.”


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