They are of the Kurdish ethnic group. They have not had an easy time living there in the Middle East. They lost their homeland from Arab invaders long ago. Since then, they have sought autonomy, but have met with resistance, war, and persecution.
Kurds learn to kick butt and bond.
Their ancestral homeland spreads across parts of Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey. Though they live in the Middle East, they do not identify as Arab. They have aided the United States in military missions in the Middle East.
Despite having a hard time keeping safe at home, this group of Kurds find peace and bonding through Taekwondo. You can see how men and women, and Kurds of different religions and from different regions can come together and practice martial arts.
What’s interesting is that the Kurds are currently aiding the fight against ISIS. There have been some extremely strong women fighters who’ve seen military action there, and have sacrificed themselves to protect sensitive borders.
I wonder if they are studying in martial arts schools like these, and then taking those skills onto the battlefield. Kurdish women bring fear into the hearts of the extremist male fighters they confront in battle.
I don’t know if the Kurdish population will ever find a place in the Middle East they can fully call home, at least not with ISIS there, but at least they can find some exercise, solitude, and celebrate their strong women.