Women in the Middle East have a hard enough time for many reasons, but three women there are bucking tradition and doing something you wouldn’t think of associating with that part of the world – they are the first women surfers in Iran and are working to get rid of the usual stereotypes against women.
The three women are up to the challenge of introducing this Western sport and include the Irish professional surfer Easkey Britton, along with the Iranian professional snowboarder Mona Seraji, and Iranian diver Shalha Yasini. The three are also working with Marion Poizeau, a French filmmaker.
Poizeau came to Iran along with Britton to help film a documentary called Into the Sea to help highlight the women making history by being the first women surfers in the country. The film will introduce the women, then document their trip to a remote part of Iran in Baluchistan, and Britton will teach Yasini and Seraji to surf there.
Baluchistan is a poor area of Iran, considered to be a dangerous site and the only place it is actually possible to surf in the country. The group found that despite their fears, the local people welcomed them and were interested in seeing women surf for the first time.
The women say that they want to show others that there are women out there who need to be seen as special for more than just being a celebrity with dyed hair or a tight-fitting dress. The women say they are making a difference in the world and are at the same time, doing something they have grown to love. They are also taking real risks in choosing to do these things and want the world to know about their challenges and their success, and to inspire other women.
The three women have also helped to create the very first surfing club in Iran, which is called the Waves of Freedom. This is because the women see surfing as a medium to help empower vulnerable people in the world, especially women and young girls. They say that surfing is not a mere sport or game, it is a new lifestyle and also is an art form that they are performing to express themselves. As the women say, surfing is a kind of way of life and they are doing it to get empowerment, recognition and hope that it helps other women see that they are important and can do great things.
The film has made a great impact on international media, as well as going viral online. The response in and out of Iran has been mostly positive. Since the film, the women have made a second trip there. They believe that surfing will help make new opportunities for women and help to transcend gender and cultural barriers.