Forbes 30 Under 30: Pakistani Footballer Karishma Ali

Here's to breaking gender stereotypes, the first girl from Chitral to ever play on an international and national level- Pakistani footballer, Karishma Ali!

From a remote village in Chitral, Pakistan rose an incredible player; Pakistani footballer, Karishma Ali was recently named as one of Forbes 30 under 30! She is the first girl from Pakistan to play football on both a national and international level.

Moreover, not only is the Pakistani footballer a great player herself, but Karishma Ali is also the founder of the Chitral’s Women Sports Club where she is responsible for training sixty girls and providing them with opportunities to participate in sports as well.

At only 23 years of age, the Pakistani footballer, Karishma Ali has achieved so much. The Forbes website mentions, “Karishma Ali of Chitral, Pakistan is the first girl from her hometown to have played football at a national and international level. She has represented Pakistan at the Jubilee Games in Dubai, and her team was the first women’s team from Pakistan to participate in the AFL International Cup. Ali is also the founder of the Chitral Women’s Sports Club.”

Furthermore, Karishma Ali has been gaining quite the international attention. She was recently called up by CNN for an interview where she stated, “Things are hard for girls here, especially to have a different dream or to do something outside of what society expects you to do.” She also mentioned that Chitral’s Women’s Sports Club
that was temporarily closed due to coronavirus will now be reopening and soon will be holding an exchange program for the girls to attend a football camp in Islamabad.

Things have not always been easy for the Pakistani footballer, Karishma Ali mentions that she had received multiple death threats because of what she was doing. However, that didn’t stop her. Her bravery and determination are commendable, she says, “I want to bring change to those girls and those women who want to become more than a housewife.”

Karishma Ali further went on praising her father and how his support was one of the factors for her success. He had always encouraged her to play and pursue her dreams, whatever they were. Due to
Karishma Ali, the Pakistani footballer, gained her confidence and became fearless of who she was.

Karishma Ali has begun many philanthropic projects by helping the people in her hometown or close to her area. She says, “Ten years from now I want to see at least 10-20 more girls like myself who come back here [Chitral] after they’ve achieved their dream and work for the other girls that I was not able to reach out to and, slowly, I see a progressive society where men and women are working equally, where women do not have to stress about traditional customs and be able to freely do what they can and see that I was part of all of this change.”

“I want to see more women in leadership positions and then sit back and enjoy. This is what I wanted to fight for.”

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