Saeid Mollaei, escaped Iran after he was forced to withdraw to avoid any confrontation with Israeli athletes. Sagi Muki opened his heart to this incredible friendship. Both are meant to compete in Tokyo during the summer but in the end, friendship will win no matter what.
Saeid Mollaei was born in Iran. Sagi Muki is Israel. They are both world champion in the same weight category. They were not supposed to become friends, they are now the best friends in the world.
Sport can drive social change, community development and foster peace and understanding. The entire population was severely affected by the war and in particular the women and the youth. Women weren’t able to practise sports. However, the women and the youth always craved participation in sports, as it brings joy and peace to their lives.
Friba Rezayee is the founder and the Executive Director of Women Leaders of Tomorrow. She was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan. When she turned 18 she made history by competing in judo at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, as Afghanistan’s first ever female Olympic athlete.
Judo for Peace is an initiative of International Judo Federation. In 2015, we initiated a programme in Kilis within the refugee camp nearby. Throughout the year, the programme grew and reached new levels. Now that the camp is closed, we are still working with refugees in Kilis and over the border.
Some years ago, I discovered Container City, near Kilis, TUR. Today the camp is closed but I was able to travel to Syria and see how judo still helps to overcome the war trauma.