DOMINICK CZAKILEW / AIPS Young Reporters* /BAKU: Journalists interview many different people. It is common practice, just like in any other social situation, to shake hands at the start of the conversation.
However when I was refused a handshake by a young volunteer before our interview, I knew this conversation was going to be special.
Leman Kerimli is a 20-year-old Muslim volunteer at the media centre at Dalga stadium.
She takes her religion very seriously, in fact she is the only media assistant at the stadium wearing a head scarf.
Kerimli says she is proud to be able to show what she stands for at the World Cup.
“I was worried at the beginning the personnel would dislike my scarf…. however everyone respects it, that makes me really happy” she says.
Kerimli hopes this FIFA world cup will change the way Muslims are perceived in the west.
“Thousands of people will come toAzerbaijanto watch this event, I think I’m a good example of a Muslim and I can represent Muslim people better.
“It’s very hurtful, when people give Muslims a bad name. It makes me very sad.”
As Kerimli passionately described how she felt about Islam, she was several times side tracked by the game which was being played at the time.
She shows a great interest in football and has discovered how she can make a change in the world, through the power of sport.
** AIPS, the international sports media association, is running a Young Reporters course at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup with the co-operation of FIFA and supported by the Azeri Ministry of Youth & Sport
= = = =