TESTIMONY. Vincennes: Marzieh Hamidi, Afghan refugee and taekwondo champion

Marzieh Hamidi, Afghan taekwondo champion, was received at Vincennes, in Val-de-Marne. (©David LEDUC – News Val-de-Marne)

marzieh hamidi He is 19 years old, and the ambition of his youth. Young Afghanpassionate and champion taekwondowas forced to flee her country and the regime of taliban. As an Afghan citizen, she was able to be received in France as part of theOperation Shutdownthat had evacuated nearly 3,000 people from Kabul last August. The city of Vincennes officially welcomed him this Wednesday, March 16. Meet.

“Every day I think of my family”

Marzieh Hamidi is happy at Vincennes. She enjoys discovering “a city that doesn’t shut up, where you see a lot of people.” She and her family were forced to flee Afghanistan and the Taliban regime. Today, Marzieh is in France, away from her family: “My brother, who was an influential trader before the Taliban returned to power, is still imprisoned in Afghanistan. My sister was able to flee to Turkey and my parents are in Pakistan. Your situation is difficult. I would like my family to come near me. I think of them every day.”

The young refugee says:

“I was born an immigrant. I grew up in a different country than mine, Iran. I lived in Afghanistan for two years, then the Taliban came. In Kabul, they attacked my brother’s office, then they attacked our house. We had already fled, they didn’t find us. We moved 4 times”.

Arriving in France a few months ago, it was in Vincennes that Marzieh Hamidi was able to find a home. The city of Vincennes had requested to participate in Operation Apagan. The mayor, Charlotte Libert-Albanel (UDI), explains: “We wanted to participate in the collective effort for Afghan women. Vincennes maintains the spirit of solidarity. Previously we had welcomed a Syrian family, who had perfectly integrated into the city. With Marzieh, we made sure that she felt surrounded from the moment she arrived, that she could fly on her own quickly.”

Marzieh Hamidi Vincennes
Marzieh Hamidi and the mayor of Vincennes, Charlotte Libert-Albanel, during the official welcoming ceremony (© David LEDUC – Actu Val-de-Marne)

It was at the age of 15 that Marzieh discovered taekwondo: “I started in Iran. A friend was part of the national team and had invited me to a competition. I did a little training and bought the sport.” Her progress will be rapid: Marzieh Hamidi won 6 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medals in departmental and national level competitions in Afghanistan. In 2021, the young athlete joins the national team of Afghanistan.


“When I practice, it’s like I’m erasing everything from my mind. People say that combat sports are not for girls. I want to show you the opposite. In Afghanistan, there is a lot of opposition from men, I was the only woman who did not wear the veil. It was only me who put on tight clothes. They looked at me as an object, not as a human being. But they did not discourage me, ”says she who explains that she has participated in women’s demonstrations in Afghanistan.

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“I hope to be the first Afghan Olympic champion”

Now based in Vincennes, Marzieh Hamidi wants to resume training and practicing her sport as soon as possible. “Contacts have been made with the representatives of taekwondo in Vincennes”, underlines the councilor, Charlotte Libert-Albanel. She has high hopes of discovering the facilities of theI don’t know, in the Bois de Vincennes. She knows that she “doesn’t have much time”, but she has in mind the hope of “participating in Paris 2024”: “I hope to arrive and be the first Afghan Olympic champion… Even if it is far from my country.

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