August 14, 2023
Sipa Kurda
(Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan/Iraq)

Two weeks ago, Kazhin Farzanda from the Fatati Kirkuk football club competed against all other Arab countries to become the first Iraqi Kurd player to win first place in the women’s football tournament. 

Farzanda, a 30-year-old single parent from Kirkuk, has been playing football and participating in tournaments since she was 8 years old — even when she got married and had 3 children. 

“I didn’t finish school because of my family’s financial condition. But I found myself in football, which is something unique for a Middle East woman to do,” said Farzanda. 

According to Farzanda, living in a small city made her face all the cultural norms and assumptions in Iraq, including people’s opinion that women have to be at home taking care of the family. And that football is something only men are good at. 

Farzanda explained: “This is my 5th win in the international tournament. My children will be very proud of me when I get home and tell them about the news, holding the certificate.” 

Farzanda offers an inspirational story for all those who were turned down because of their gender and stopped from proving their abilities and making their voice heard. 



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