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A young girl in Pakistan spent nearly a decade evading the Taliban to eventually become a world-class athlete.

Unlike many others in her home country, Maria Toorpakai’s father never allowed her to be forced into a child marriage, she said on Fox and Friends.

Instead, he helped his daughter leave the tribal regions to train in squash – for a while, leading Toorpakai to disguise as a boy to fit in.

Just like everyone else, Toorpakai lifted weights and played squash. She used a fake name: Genghis Khan.

Today, Toorpakai is Pakistan’s no. 1 female squash player.

“I grew up like a tomboy,” she explained, “because I just wanted equal freedom.”

Squash “was safe haven for me,” she told Brian and Ainsley.

When people found out that their star player was actually a girl, there was “extreme resistance from society,” said Toorpakai. “It was a lot of torture, mental torture. I was very depressed with all those bullying.”

Looking back, the athlete says she hopes to spread awareness with her incredible journey.

“I’m lucky that I have such [a] father,” said Toorpakai, author of “A Different Kind of Daughter.”

“People stoned him, or our house was attacked. But he never gave up, and he started change from his own family.”


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