Magic Feet

Imagine you live in a warzone, away from you family, away from your team, no support of any kind, under continuous threat, every bone in your face is smashed, you lose most of your teeth, and you are out of shape, but in couple of month  they chose you as the best in the championship !

It is known that sport is not as important as it should be in Iraq because people focused their attention to the basics of life, how to make enough money to survive. Parents send their kids just to study, no classes for music or sport or art, basically everything began to descend from normal level to zero level, but football never dies, it is always in everyone’s heart, most of the Iraqis played football specially when they are at young age, those who are bad or doesn’t have the talent, didn’t find other sport to go for, because sport was the only major sport, so kids quit sport and as known, most of them get fat, out of shape and undetermined.
And the talented young footballer can’t find the right place to enhance their talent, can’t afford to join clubs, because usually in Iraqi tradition these activities are mere distraction from studying, so the talent wasted like the ashes flew to the horizon.

Kids Play football in street

When I was in high school, I met a lot of the young student who were talented in football, but they only play for fun, some of them play in the streets or in the neighborhood, most of them unfortunately just gave it up and concentrated on how to survive, get married and have children, as most of us, at that time we have no idea how to mix both, and try to both enjoy life and achieve our dreams and practice our hobbies, because of the education, traditions and the bad situation in Iraq.
But I will never forget “Magic feet”, he was a young student who was playing with older student at the basketball field, I never seen such thing in my life, the ball stuck to somebody’s feet as it did with him, he did everything, I always wondered why he plays in a team, he should have played alone.
I didn’t know the guy, but he was my brother’s friend, we were at the best high school on Iraq, a privilege not all kids had at that time, you have to be smart, cool, intelligent and talented. “ did I just say that I am all of these?”, anyway you could be less but he was in that place.

His name is :

Hashim Khalid Al Saraf
Skinny kid, who always enchanted us with his performance, we used to skip classes to watch him play, his father used to encourage him, but because studying at Baghdad college was very difficult, and he usually go back home late, because the high school was very far from his place, so the time he spend at home was barely enough to sit with the family and do his homework.

Basketball field, where Hashim used to play

but he never stopped, the tricky part was the last year at high school, the most difficult year, it decides everyone’s future, what pained me the most at the time, that Hashim got a very high degree, I knew he was going to quit his passion to football, he was going to go to very difficult university, and I heard the news, he went to Medical University, “that’s it, another wasted talent” that’s what I said, after that, I have a lot of friends at the Medical University, I went there and saw “Magic feet” on action, he was playing at the basketball field again, and as always, dazzled me to a point where I forgot about my friends, and kept watching him do his magic.
But I always wanted to go and tell him why don’t you become professional player, but a friend told me that he began his professional career few months ago, he could find spare time to join friend and play Futsal, and one day he met one the famous coaches in Iraq for Futsal and it seemed that he was amazed by Hashim, and he promised him to find him a spot in the 2006 competition for the Futsal.
“Guess What? He was titled as the best player in the competition. Huh, didn’t see that coming”, then he was one of the Iraqi national futsal team, he played his first match against Tajikistan, I asked him how did he feel about the match, he simply answered, “The Chill under my skin, the trembling in my feet, when I was standing side by side with my teammates singing the Iraqi anthem, and the flag was sending his bright colors to the horizon, I felt the world is limitless and everything is great where I came from, I had that awe that told me it is not about me anymore, it’s about the dream of this beautiful place called Iraq, because I am pretty sure that Iraq loves me so much, that I couldn’t doubt for a second how much I loved Iraq”, when I heard his words I knew I was wrong about a lot of things in my life, because personally, I believed that we have forgotten about the love of Iraq and we became selfish enough, that’s why our society and country reach that point of destruction and corruption, but he just proved me wrong.
Hashim, came back from his first appearance with the national team, his spirit high, he knew this is a new page in his life to achieve his dreams, to become the first doctor in the history of Iraq who plays football with the national team and to prove that talents have a place in this country, but the reality strikes hard enough, he was graduated from university after spending half of the time playing with the team in Japan, Taiwan and other countries in Asia and middle-east.

Hashim with his teammates in one of the championships

But the system of the universities in Iraq specially the medical ones, is really difficult and in my opinion it’s totally wrong, Hashim was sent far from Baghdad for his internship, far from his family, club, and the passion for the game, but nonetheless Hashim strikes reality much harder, he could managed with his teammates to win the championship of 2008, knowing that his team is from Baghdad, and he worked almost everyday in the south of Iraq, “how did he do that ?”
He had to be in his internship in the hospital most of the days, far from all the trainings, his family and the matches, may be people don’t see that much big of a deal, but people in Iraq knows about the internship system in Iraq, beside the transportation from city to city, difficult, not safe and tiresome.
And again, he managed to win the championship again next year, and become player of the season, and join the national team again in many occasions, until he raised the West Asia championship in 2009 in Jordan.

2011, Hashim coming back from the south of Iraq, to join his team in one of the season matches, but in the way a car accident smashed his face, he almost cracked every bone in his face, he had to stay in the hospital for 2 months, everyone was struck by the news, again frustration crept to our hearts, another talent is gone, “he has to surrender now”, so basically at the time I went to look for another talent to write about, then after few months I see Hashim playing in the futsal team as the captain for Iraq, and he performed better than before, Hashim went back to Iraq to win again the 2011 championship.

For More Videos please Check :

Hashim with one of his championship trophies

Frank Lloyd Wright ( one of the most famous architects in history) said:

“I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson one of the most famous writers said: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

I believe young people need such motivation, such enthusiasm, such success, may be Hashim didn’t change the world, or made Iraq a better place, or maybe he did only personal glory, but Hashim did one thing that is great, you proved that you can be who you want to be, again a lot of people will say that there are many other better than him, if you lived in Iraq, or in a country where death and pain is everywhere, you will know that Hashim is one of a kind.

Thank you Hashim.

If you know anyone with talent please contact ,we need to show the other that we can make a change, so let us help you to tell the world, that we exist and may be together we can help each other to be better.

Contact us, for you for us.


Posted on September 27, 2011, in Hashim Khalid, Talented Youth. Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Great story and amazing personality this talented guy had, I take my hats off to him and wish him all the best of luck as he really deserve it.
    This story is one in a million of people with great talent, ambition and mentality that could have raised the countries future to a heavenly place and if not of the war and other following circumstances and some troubled sick mental people who managed to stole the the peoples power and will.
    Our country is rich with talent and with people who care to do good and care about their fellow human-beings which from my point of view is much more effective to humanity.
    god bless Hashim and all the people who are working to appreciate the talent, intelligence, power and responsibility they have been offered.

    Saad Alayderousi

  2. That’s how I’ve always seen Iraqis, so passionate in everything they do. They create amazing things out of nothing. May God bless and protect you Hashim Al Saraf and all Iraqis in all the world.

  3. soooo impressive, Hashim Al Sarraf is a talent that must be taken care of , encouraged and protected this young man makes me believe that we still have great things to do !! thank you Hashim Al Sarraf.

  4. great article , words chosen wisely , good description ..
    i have know this talent since i was 15 years old , i didn’t know the guy himself , but i heard alot about him , about his achievements , his style of play , his contribution to every team he plays for ..
    good to see someone shedding some light on these kind of talents , and hope to see and know more of those people ..
    good job

  5. an amazing story ….and an amazing guy …we rarely see people that proud of their country and the way he describe his feeling at his first match said it all…and the persistence he has to follow his dream should teach us a lesson for not giving up ours
    ….wish him the best of luck

  6. People with such talent should be made to suffer at all , if Hashim was born any where in the western world he would’ve been snatched by many talent hunters .
    What is amazing is that he fought circumstances all the way through to his achievements , but what about the kids that could not afford to fight for their talents or forced to ignore them and look the other way, what a loss !
    I am so happy though to find out that Hashim made his way back to football after the accident , i was worried that he might not cause it was so sever this time , god bless him ,guard him all the way through .
    Nice article you wrote Mohamed , Nice selection of adjectives .. keep it up bro. and we may one day read someone writing about you .

  7. Good Bless Iraq & Iraqis
    So proud of this talented man , God protect him & bless him cause he is really a Fortune, but excuse me for what i will say
    the person who i`m really proud of & my heart is beating so fast when i finally read what he wrote
    Mohamed .. I am proud of you … God Bless you my friend

  8. That was a really nice artical , and the most beautiful thing that it’s a real story that really happened. it’s made us all proud of this young man how fights all the circumstances to achive his dream. I know there are a lot of people like him in our country but unfortunately there is no one to tell us about them . so thank you my friend for this amazing artical that shows the world that Iraqis people are alive and talented despite all the pains and wars.

  9. “don’t let the world shape you…shape the world around you” that’s what i have learned after reading this amazing article…god bless hashim & god bless who wrote this article

  10. شكررررررا للكلام الرائع الي قريته من الكل واهم شي شكراااااا حمودي على هذا الموضوووع

  11. A 5 a-side legend……. I’d played against him on many occasions as we both were on the same high school, although I was younger than the rest, but the guy was way better than all of us on those paved courts. The article described him and the circumstances he went through very well. Many thanks to those who contributed in this site.

  12. Great Article!

    Proud of you Cuz, i know you always had it in you! See ya real soon! Proud real proud!

    You know you gotta get ready!!! hahahahahah

  13. hamoodi hashim we utayl the best players in the iraqi team for futsal we r really proud of u hashim

  14. اوكي هذااااااال اني حاظر ومنتظرك هههههههههههه

  15. nice article and i hope he can make all his dream come true on reality, hope all iraqi youth find their ways to the top and be able to achieve their goals and make themselves, their families and their friends proud. Wish also Hashim the best in his career both medical and football careers.

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