The Blue Window

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This film shows three Iranian women who are members of Iran’s national futsal team and also students of higher education. They are eager of share their unique experiences as women in Iran.

TIME CODE: 00:00_05:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Shahrzad Mozaffar, Head Coach, Iran’s Women Futsal Team: “I’ll just make a short stop here to buy newspapers.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Unknown man, Shopkeeper: “Ok.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Shahrzad Mozaffar, Head Coach, Iran’s Women Futsal Team: “Alborz Sports and Shargh newspapers, please.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Unknown man, Shopkeeper: “Is Alborz 400 tomans?”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Shahrzad Mozaffar, Head Coach, Iran’s Women Futsal Team: “I think so. No, it’s 300 tomans. Sorry.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Leila Khayat, Player, Iran’s Women Futsal Team: “It's good.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Leila’s Husband: “Yes. Open space.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Leila Khayat, Player, Iran’s Women Futsal Team: “Yes. And there’s a waterfall.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Leila’s Husband: “See? You finally went out with me on a picnic!”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Naghmeh Moradi, Player, Iran’s Women Futsal Team: “These moves…”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Naghmeh’s Father: “Great! Go on. I’ll throw the ball at you. Try to juggle it. As high as you can, like this! Good, great!”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Shahrzad Mozaffar, Head Coach, Iran’s Women Futsal Team: “It’s a very popular and widely-read newspaper. It’s great that they cover both football and futsal; even women’s football and futsal are highlighted. It’s not enough to read them in just sports newspapers. Social newspapers need to cover them as well. I think that’s a good thing.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Leila Khayat, Player, Iran’s Women Futsal Team: “Well, I’ve been into sports since I was 8 or 9 years old. Different sports. What I’ve done most are physical fitness and handball.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Naghmeh’s Father: “Now hit it twice with your foot.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Naghmeh Moradi, Player, Iran’s Women Futsal Team: Twice?”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Naghmeh’s Father: “Twice.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Naghmeh Moradi, Player, Iran’s Women Futsal Team: What do you mean by that? You’ll throw it twice?”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Naghmeh’s Father: “Yes. Twice with your left feet and twice with your right”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Naghmeh Moradi, Player, Iran’s Women Futsal Team:Throw it twice then.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Naghmeh’s Father: “Here! It was in Bahrain and Iraq.”

TIME CODE: 05:00_10:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Shahrzad Mozaffar, Head Coach, Iran’s Women Futsal Team: “Go! Damn! He didn’t score! Oh, dear. When I was younger, I couldn't sit still like this and watch the games. I even broke the chandeliers once or twice, when I jumped up and down; I hit it with my hands. But … well, now I’m much calmer, more reasonable. I’ve stopped caring so much … I’m a normal fan now.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Leila Khayat, Player at Iran’s Women Futsal Team: “I loved football, but I never thought I’d become a footballer one day. I always watched the games with my brother, but I never thought I’d get to play football one day. One of my friends was playing for Mashhad’s futsal team at that time. It was the first years of women’s futsal league in Iran. I went with friend and took a test. There were three of us who took the test, and I was chosen as the first goalkeeper of the team in that season.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Naghmeh’s Father: “One more time. Bravo. Well done! Good! One more time.

I used to play football myself till 9 or 10 o’clock every night. Because I loved sports I believed that my children had to follow in my footsteps.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Shahrzad Mozaffar, Head Coach, Iran’s Women Futsal Team: It may seem that I live by myself all the time, but I’m not really alone. I don’t live alone, because my mother is with me most of the time, and we’re always together. But since my sisters live abroad, she has to divide her time, and go on trips sometimes. When the Iran- Iraq war started … it is true that we weren’t living inside the city, but we were close to the war zone and we constantly heard the sound of missiles and bombs passing over our house. It was really terrible.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Leila Khayat, Player at Iran’s Women Futsal Team: “People ask my parents how they allow their daughter to go to another country or be away from them. Fortunately, my parents have always supported me. I don’t know, it’s either because they loved to see my progress in life or because they trusted me wholeheartedly.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Shahrzad Mozaffar, Head Coach, Iran’s Women Futsal Team: My father was my main supporter; he gave me so much confidence with both his actions and words, saying, “We’re going to survive this” or “This will pass, too”, or “Nothing threatens us”, “There is no danger”. Whenever he said those things, I really believed him, I believed that no matter how many bombs fell, none of them would fall over us. My father had said that we wouldn’t be hurt.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Naghmeh’s Father: “Someone who stands behind a ball should look at the goal posts. What’s that mean? You don’t look at the goalkeeper, you just visualize where you want to shoot the ball in your mind. You don’t look at the goalkeeper…

Since she was young, when she was just 2 or 3 years old, she wanted to shoot everything she saw. She wished to continue the game, to play with me. Gradually, as she grew up, she used to cry whenever she fell on the ground. Her brother who was a few years older than her used to play football. They used to play together and that’s how she grew interested in the game. She grew up with a ball, because I used to play football as well. I even used to play football with them at home. Sometimes I played as a goalkeeper and had them shoot away the ball.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Leila Khayat, Player at Iran’s Women Futsal Team: “I always used to think marriage would be an obstacle for me, stopping me from pursuing professional sports. That’s what I used to think. So I never gave marriage a serious thought. I used to think that once I get married, I had to kiss sports goodbye.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Shahrzad Mozaffar, Head Coach, Iran’s Women Futsal Team: “I believe in order to marry; you should feel the urge to get married. No matter if your marriage is successful or not, you should feel as if you really want to do it. I’d never felt that strong urge before.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Leila’s Husband:When I decided to press my suit, she was playing for a team in Bandar Abbas. Well, it was obvious that she’d have to stay there for months and visit her family on rare occasions. There was also the matter of housing, how she lived over there, if she was alone or her teammates were with her. These things could have been anyone’s concerns, and I was no exception.”

TIME CODE: 09:50_15:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Naghmeh’s Father: “We live at a local place. I mean everyone living here is our relative. Religion is highly respected here. I mean everyone is a devout believer. Someone continues his studies, someone becomes a pilot, someone becomes a flight attendant, and someone becomes a sportsman. You can’t say they should get married and quit what they do. That’s good, there’s nothing wrong with that. Life should continue, we need to live our lives. But we also need to pay attention to people’s desires. Someone likes to pursue futsal, another one football, another one combat sports or volleyball. They make their decisions according to their genetic characteristics, their physical needs.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Shahrzad Mozaffar, Head Coach, Iran’s Women Futsal Team: Although I have experience in coaching football teams… for about 4 or 5 years… I became the futsal team's manager under special circumstances. I quit football and the national team in 2010. At that time, Mr. Jurandir was the manager of Iran’s futsal team; officially, he was the advisor, but he was practically in charge of everything. He led the team for almost a year, and I was his assistant for around 6 months. He talked to me afterwards, saying that he wanted me to be in charge of the futsal team. I gladly accepted, because futsal was one of my greatest interests. I loved coaching the futsal team. When you want to replace a foreign coach, especially a male one, you feel the heavy weight of it from two different aspects. I knew it was a big responsibility and I knew I’d be under a lot of stress. When we took part in the West Asian championship, which was held for the second time, we won the games hands down! We showed everyone that we had progressed, that we’d improved.

As far as I know, there are no female head coaches in other futsal teams around the world. There are some female assistants who undergo the necessary training to become a head coach one day.

As you can see, it’s only Iran’s tram whose members wear hijab. Even teams from Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq or others played bareheaded, except for Jordan’s team in which a few members wore hijab. As I remember, in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in which Iran’s team was not allowed to play, those members of Jordan's team were banned from playing too. Their team had to play without some of its key players. I took part in the AFC Elite Futsal Instructors Course, and I was the only female participant. The others were all men.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Shahrzad Mozaffar, Head Coach, Iran’s Women Futsal Team: Hey, hey, Paria! Block it, Paria! Paria!”

“I believe that you have to do your best at everything you do. You have to believe in yourself. I can’t just say in words that I’m a better coach than a man. I should ask myself “Why are you better? Why do you think you’re better than a Brazilian male coach?” I should come up with a good reason, a resume, a report paper, something. I should do something to prove my point, to enable me to say, “For this and that reason, I stood my ground.””

“I always prefer to consult with others. I ask for everyone’s opinion, and I might use all the new ideas, but I’m the one who makes the final decision, though the final decision is usually not opposed to what everyone has said.”

TIME CODE: 15:00_21:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Shahrzad Mozaffar, Head Coach, Iran’s Women Futsal Team: “To tell you the truth, when the national team’s training starts, it affects my whole life. I somehow turn into another person, because I focus all my attention on the team. I miss that feeling. Since we’ve come back from Russia, we haven’t had a chance to practice, and I feel as if something’s missing in my life. We need to start the trainings again to put some meaning back in our lives. I think all the 12 members of my team deserve to be a part of the national team.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Shahrzad Mozaffar, Head Coach, Iran’s Women Futsal Team: You should find a partner. You shouldn’t go back, there’s only 2 minutes left! There’s nothing to do here! Each one of you should find someone over there. if… if what?” If she does, Shoheila’s partner will come along with her. No one else. Just her partner. Each one of you has her own partner. Understood?

I don’t like to talk big, to say “Yes, they’re like my children.” Or “I’m like their mother”. No. they have their own mothers and families, and are someone else’s child. It’s not like that. But our relationship as a coach and a player is a strong one. We’re close to each other.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Naghmeh’s Mother: We’re happy that Ms. Mozaffar invites her to the national team… Naghmeh has been with Ms. Mozaffar for a long time, since she was very young. Whenever I thanked her, she replied that we, as Naghmeh’s parents, were the ones who helped her grow. But as a mother, I feel that the team and its members, especially their coach, have helped my child grow. They may not know it themselves, but they’ve helped her grow.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Shahrzad Mozaffar, Head Coach, Iran’s Women Futsal Team: Naghmeh really made progress step by step! For me, Naghmeh is the living example of someone who’s climbed the ladder of success one step at a time.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Naghmeh’s Mother: I’m glad that she’s made progress both in her studies and her social life. She is now an agricultural engineer.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Naghmeh Moradi, Player, Iran’s Women Futsal Team: I worked very hard in order to become a part of the national futsal team. I spent a lot of time on the bench, and sometimes didn’t get to play at all. I used to cry a lot, but I never gave up, I never gave in, I just tried harder.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Leila Khayat, Player at Iran’s Women Futsal Team: We got married last summer, and I’ve been constantly in the training trips since Autumn; we had to practice three days a week every other week, and it came to an end just a week ago.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Leila’s Husband: I don’t know if it was Imam Sadiq or Prophet Mohammad. There was a woman at that time who sold perfume. She used to come to the Prophet’s house and talk to his wives. One day when the Prophet arrived and found her there, he told her, “Whenever you come to my house, there's a good smell in the air.” I mean he treated her with respect, and gave her some advice about her job. He acknowledged her work.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Leila Khayat, Player at Iran’s Women Futsal Team: My husband’s workplace is in RobatKarim city. He leaves early in the morning and returns very late, at 8 or 9 p.m. Maybe that’s why we don’t have any problems at home, my absence is not really palpable, since we leave together and come back together.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Leila’s Husband: People might not know it, but she’s also a teacher, an M.A. student, and she has to work on her thesis at the moment. She's on a very tight schedule.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Naghmeh’s Father: “All the members of the national team, all the girls who always talk to my daughter, are highly educated. This is really an honor for me! All of them have a master's degree, and some of them are aiming for Ph.D.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Leila’s Husband: Some people say if you give your wife an inch, she will take a mile, so to speak. But if you treat your wife well and there’s mutual respect on both sides, your wife will become more modest. The same goes for the husband. That’s why I believe her activities can’t negatively affect our married life.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Naghmeh’s Mother: As a woman and a mother, it was a bit hard for me at first to accept the fact that my daughter wanted to play futsal. I used to think that she was choosing a profession that belonged to men. But her own thoughts and vision helped us accept her choice. Even our relatives and the society have accepted her profession and respect her as a woman.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Shahrzad Mozaffar, Head Coach, Iran’s Women Futsal Team: I sometimes get tired, really tired. But I’ve never thought about giving up. I think my love for what I do is very strong, and I see the same thing in my players. I think all of us get tired at one point or another, but I’ve never seen anyone talking about giving up, giving in, or refusing to go on. Our love for football and futsal is so strong that we will never give up, no matter what happens. We're going to stay on and continue.”


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