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Parkour in the Middle-East
May 21, 2013 2:32 PM   Subscribe

Meet the Iranian Parkour Girls, the Gaza Parkour Team (while bombs fall) and the first Iraqi Parkour team.
posted by elgilito (23 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
PARKOUR!
posted by zombieflanders at 2:46 PM on May 21, 2013


This is great. Just got back from a trip to Iran. My wife and I are American, so we were required by Iranian law to have a pre-approved itinerary and a guide with us at all times, although our guide, who was awesome, didn't give a shit about any of that. My wife asked a lot of questions to our guide and random local women, including about gyms and sports. The general consensus was that the number of women participating in athletics is increasing, although they are still hampered by societal and familial displeasure.
posted by Falconetti at 2:59 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


The Khaju bridge would be a fun spot for Parkour (if you could avoid getting arrested).
posted by the duck by the oboe at 3:04 PM on May 21, 2013


I was actually thinking the exact same thing! Even the parkland along the river in Isfahan would have lots of decent spots for parkour.
posted by Falconetti at 3:09 PM on May 21, 2013


This is awesome! With all their extra clothing compared with the boys, they look like Ninjas!
posted by SteelDancin at 3:09 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I guess I think Parkour is pretty cool, though the surrounding culture and videos do often seem a little douchy, no offense... But, as usual, everything seems inexplicably cooler if non-Americans and females are doing it... So...yay, Parkour!

Pretty cool music, too.
posted by Fists O'Fury at 3:21 PM on May 21, 2013


Parkour is douchy. There's no shame in thinking that, or stating it.
posted by xmutex at 3:30 PM on May 21, 2013


I laugh out loud when the guys on New Girl start yelling parkour! and doing terrible somersaults and awkward jumps on the furniture.
posted by Justinian at 4:12 PM on May 21, 2013


Parkour is douchy. There's no shame in thinking that, or stating it.

So I'm not crazy!

About, y'know, that...
posted by Fists O'Fury at 4:28 PM on May 21, 2013


I laugh out loud when the guys on New Girl start yelling parkour! and doing terrible somersaults and awkward jumps on the furniture.
Writing staff of The Office on line one...
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:50 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you've grown up in a vast concrete housing estate, where utopian architects have put ramps, benches, planters, terraces and outdoor corridors everywhere, and if you've grown up running around and playing soccer every daylit hour you're not in school because home is a cramped and shitty apartment, parkour isn't douchey.
posted by Flashman at 5:00 PM on May 21, 2013 [20 favorites]


No, it's still douchy, you should skateboard instead!
posted by Grandysaur at 5:08 PM on May 21, 2013


Allah-oops
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:16 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Let me understand: Parkour = fewer opportunities to take one in the nards = douchey?

Definition: take one in the nards: Skateboard, railing slide, mishap, mashed nards.
posted by Mojojojo at 5:39 PM on May 21, 2013


Yes, anyone finding fun in parkour is a Douche, thanks for clarifying such insightful observations on street culture! I had no idea I was considered (or these cool grrlz) Douches!
posted by SteelDancin at 7:20 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


I laugh out loud when the guys on New Girl start yelling parkour! and doing terrible somersaults and awkward jumps on the furniture.

I went to high school with a guy who did this. He wasn't being sarcastic or anything, and it wasn't a reference. Everyone I still talk to who I went to school with still does it today sarcastically.

Parkour isn't inherently douchey, but that guy was a douche and so are a lot of people who do it.

It's kinda like polo shirts or BMWs. Douches may take part, but it doesn't make the item or activity inherently douchey.
posted by emptythought at 11:14 PM on May 21, 2013


More power to them. Good post, elgilito.
posted by homunculus at 12:15 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


There is nothing remotely douchey about these kids. They are AMAZING. BRAVE. BEAUTIFUL. The girls risking their lives in Iran to do something physical so they're not "frozen" like women are forced to be there. The young men exuberantly shouting "god is great" while bombs fall around them, and then going back out the next day for another session.

My kids are skateboarders, and I've always been impressed by the way kids behave in these non-sanctioned, non-coached sports. Parkour is the same. There are no rules and yet they're so respectful of each other (if not of the curb they're grinding). They take turns and wait in line, they encourage each other when they're trying to land a trick, they laugh at and with each other when they can't land the trick, they show resilience and camaraderie and bravery every day.

I cannot imagine the bravery and strength required to do a harmless, healthy, everyday thing like this in the face of repression and war.

We have followed Skateistan since it started and just purchased the book -- unlike the kids in Gaza and Iran, Skateistan is organized and led by adults, but it's no less an example of incredibly brave young people pushing themselves to do something beautiful.
posted by headnsouth at 6:59 AM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


My wife and I support Skateistan monetarily and I want to second headnsouth that it is an awesome organization worth checking out (and donating to if you are able).
posted by Falconetti at 7:29 AM on May 22, 2013


The young men exuberantly shouting "god is great" while bombs fall around them ...

I think the "bombs" are actually secondary explosions from arm caches.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:34 AM on May 22, 2013


I think the "bombs" are actually secondary explosions from arm caches.

Missing the point entirely.
posted by headnsouth at 7:43 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Always happy to see kids - especially girls in places like this - pushing boundaries awesomely like this.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:20 AM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


This one time I stopped to buy a soda at a little rural store that also sold agricultural supplies. There were two ~10 year old kids parkouring on big piles of stacked bags of fertilizer. I guess that was douchey because they didn't grow up in a french banlieue.
posted by Authorized User at 10:55 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


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