Top Pakistani athlete to share her human rights story at UofSC March 21

Maria Toorpakai, Pakistan’s top professional female squash player, will share her personal story at the University of South Carolina March 21 when she delivers its annual Mary Baskin Waters Lecture.

Toorpakai’s talk, titled “Human Rights in the Face of Extremism,” will take place at 6 p.m. in the School of Law auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

Her talk is based on her book, “A Different Kind of Daughter: The Girl Who Hid from the Taliban in Plain Sight,” which details her experience of growing up in a highly conservative tribal area in Pakistan. Although her family was progressive and permissive, Toorpakai spent her early years training, competing and living as a boy. She describes squash not as liberation but salvation and as a path that put her in crosshairs of Taliban extremists. Toorpakai is among the top squash players in the world.

The Mary Baskin Waters annual lecture is sponsored by the women’s and gender studies department and is among the College of Arts and Sciences’ premier events. The lecture honors benefactor, community partner and service-learning advocate Mary Baskin Waters, a Carolina professor and graduate.

For more information, call 803-777-4007. 

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