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Ambassador Jawad Inaugurates First Historical Buzkashi Match in California
The Embassy of Afghanistan

11/07/2005

Washington, D.C. - Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad inaugurated the first historical Buzkashi match at the Robertson Park in Livermore, California, on November 5, 2005. The ceremony began with the national anthems of Afghanistan and the United States, and more than four thousand Afghan and American Buzkashi fans attended the exciting match organized by the Horse Ox USA Inc.

Addressing the crowd, Ambassador Jawad said his dream of watching Buzkashi to be played someday in the US alongside other American extreme sports had finally come true. The Ambassador praised the strenuous efforts of the President of the Horse Ox USA, Inc. and a visionary Afghan entrepreneur, Sony Amin, for introducing Buzkashi to North America. “I want to congratulate Mr. Amin for this great achievement. I wish to thank him, members of his family and many others, who have believed in Mr. Amin’s vision, to share our national sport and rich traditions with you and our friends here in the US,” said Ambassador Jawad.

While overthrowing the Taliban regime in 2001, the US Special Forces became the first Americans to enjoy riding Buzkashi horses and even participating in the local matches in northern Afghanistan. The Ambassador said this demonstrated that US-Afghan partnership to fight terrorism is not the only bond that ties us together. “Buzkashi could be a new bond between our people. We, Americans and Afghans, like our sports to be fast, thrilling, rough and exciting. Buzkashi has all of these characteristics. Buzkashi may take off at a gallop speed and become America’s new favorite extreme sport,” added Ambassador Jawad.

Famous classic sculptor Sami Nadi presented to Ambassador Jawad a sculpture of the Buzkashi scene at the inauguration ceremony, which was held around Eid-ul Fitr and Thanksgiving celebrations featuring many Afghan and American fun activities. Pop Star Ehsan Aman sang from his recent albums, and was joined by an American band which played great country music. Dressed in national clothes, boys and girls paraded by the stage in solidarity and displayed an atmosphere of cross-cultural harmony with common values of friendship, thanksgiving, and love for the nature and outdoor sports.

The term Buzkashi means “goat-grabbing” or “goat-dragging.” There are two main genres of Buzkashi in Afghanistan today. One, commonly called tudabarai, which means “emerging from a mass.” The other, known as qarajai, takes its name from the “black place” or sense of spatial demarcation that characterizes the newer sport form. In tudabarai, the aim is to carry the calf free and clear from everyone else in whatever direction before letting it fall uncontested to the ground. In qarajai, players seek to carry the calf around a standard (generally a flag) and to return it to a scoring circle (close to where the play started), at which point the calf is dropped. The California match featured a slightly modified version of qarajai played by surprisingly well-trained Buzkashi riders.

Contact:
M. Ashraf Haidari
(202) 483-6410, (Ex-811)
Haidari@embassyofafghanistan.org

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