Witnessing the birth and rapid emergence of surfing in Iran over these last years, especially on the beach of Ramin, has shown me how surfing can be a unique lens to facilitate a deeper understanding of the world around us and each other. Ultimately, it can be developed to create a space and opportunity for connection across cultures and a positive relationship with the marine environment.
There are so many who share this story-in-the-making, and none of this would have been possible without the openness, generosity and acceptance of those who took the first steps into the sea and surf, especially film-maker Marion-Poizeau, surfers Mona Seraji, Shahla Yasini and Shams Fuladi. Since, a grass-roots surf community has grown into a nationally recognised sport with the establishment of the I.R. Iran Surfing Association this year. Today, with the ISA’s announcement of Iran as it’s 100th member (an auspicious number to reach indeed) a new chapter opens for surfing, and perhaps a sign of surfing’s potential to connect and grow across borders?
I hope the development of surfing in Iran and beyond, continues to allow space for new ways of doing and being through surfing, more creative spaces to help us reconnect with matters most; ourselves, each other and nature. Or as friend and fellow wave-maker, Shirin Gerami, and Iran’s first female triathlete so beautifully described it;
Surfing can showcase the beauty in our differences by allowing us to be truly who we are when we surrender to the playfulness of waves and wave-riding.
I feel a debt of gratitude that I can never repay to this remarkable and unique community of surfers from Iran.