Along with a friend, the sisters dressed up in traditional Baloch dress to play some hoops. The striking images were taken by Sarah’s husband, Mustafa Mureed, and inspired by court images that Halima saw on @mas.bloushi’s page. “He’s a Baloch digital editor, and does a lot of basketball shoots,” she says. They shot the photos in her friend’s backyard—“I tried finding a basketball court for four hours,” says Halima—and she added a court background digitally. The end result captivatingly reflects the sisters’ desire to normalize and support the idea of Baloch women playing sports.
The sisters wore their best Baloch ensembles for the photo series, including embroidered dresses, matching pants, and head coverings. “Baloch embroidery has been around for a really long time,” says Halima. “Most of the pieces are typically handmade.” Often, the garments they wear are made using the Balochi doch technique, a colorful embroidery style that uses triangular or diamond shapes. As Sarah wrote in her Instagram caption, “The doch takes time and effort.” For a typical day on the court, however, the sisters do not wear such elegant attire (they usually wear sports clothing). “[In Baloch culture,] there’s certain clothes you wear to bed, there’s certain clothes you wear out, or to a funeral,” Halima says. “Sports are not as popular with Baloch women, so we don’t really have clothing for sports.”
Since posting their photos a few weeks back, Halima and Sarah have received thousands of likes—their message has clearly resonated with many. “We’ve had people reach out from like, Hong Kong, and say, ‘Hey, I’m Baloch too!’” says Sarah. Halima adds, “Not all Baloch people look the same. There are some from northern Iran, or there’re some who are from more of an African descent from Tanzania.” At the end of the day, Halima is simply glad to see Baloch people getting proper representation. “A lot of people don’t know who we are as Baloch people,” says Halima. “We’re people with a lack of voice on social media and in society in general. I wanted to be like, I am Baloch, I am a girl, and I do play basketball. I may come from a background that is voiceless, but I do have a voice.”