Tamana: Fitness For Freedom
Member since
Country of Origin
Lesvos, Greece
Fitness, Running
Tamana close up

Being a mother could fill up all your time and emotions, but Tamana always makes room for sports. A former journalist, she recently arrived on the island of Lesvos from Afghanistan with her family, having fled the repression of the Taliban regime.

Afghan refugees are the third-largest displaced population in the world after Syrians and Ukranians. In 2023, there were at least 8.2 million Afghans hosted across 103 different countries, many driven away by the 2021 takeover by the Taliban, where women and girls are not easily allowed to study or leave the house. Something Tamana did not want for her daughter.
Tamana run
"I came to this path so that I can help other ladies. Set an example that women can also achieve sports success."
Lesvos is a transitory island for attempted asylum in Europe, and can form a sort of limbo, where every day is a waiting game for refugees. Waiting for news, for travel documents, waiting for a new life to begin. Because of this, Tamana found herself drawn to exercise, and also found herself daily in the company of women in similar situations to herself.
Tamana outdoor workout
Tamana and her female workout buddies
Tamana hat
Photos by Coco Olakunle

At the KLABU Lesvos Spirit clubhouse and gym, with our partner Yoga & Sports With Refugees, Tamana found a new place to call home.

She and her daughter made daily visits and exercised together with other women, Afghan or non-Afghan, in an environment where they could get to know and even grow to love each other. Tamana herself says; “Sometimes it goes wrong. They make me laugh. Exercise is very pleasant for me and makes me more relaxed.”
  • Tamana female group
  • Tamana class lead
  • Tamana sitting

This time spent exercising together allows the women to exchange opinions and feel more comfortable in their new society.

Indeed, sports has given Tamana great strength and drive: “I want to be a vision for other women to motivate them that they can become masters on their own, regardless of their circumstances, and achieve goals. What they would like to reach, who to become…” And 6 months on from her landing on the island, she’s become a women’s fitness coach at Lesvos Spirit, helping to give many other women a safe space to visit, exercise their minds and bodies, and meet and make friends.
Tamana step
eL Seed whole shirt front
klabu black cotton socks
KLABU Sportswear

Tamana feels sport helps those women to change their thinking about their problems.

“Intellectually, physically, it makes our thoughts and minds very focused and this makes me continue to exercise too”. And through this she wants to inspire her fitness sisterhood to believe that any woman can reach a place of achievement like any other, in spite of any obstacle put in her path.
Tamana mermaid sit
"We women are not slaves and we are not brothers. As human beings, we have the right to education, the right to live, the right to choose. So please let us women have our freedom like men."


Women's Fitness Coach, Lesvos Spirit

Whilst her fitness gives her freedom for now, Tamana seems to have greater plans, including rebooting her journalistic career.

She is aware that like the exercises she leads her sisters in, this journey will be hard work. She feels she has a lot in common with the poetic message of the KLABU x eL Seed shirt she proudly wears - ‘always, always, you pass through fire to reach the shining’ - and you can see from the sparkle in her eyes that she has the determination to get there, to one day really feel that freedom.
All funds raised by the limited edition eL Seed 'Shine' shirt will go into supporting KLABU’s work with refugees like Tamana, using sport to overcome challenges.


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