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XX Factor: Snowboarding While Iranian


Mona Seraji is the first snowboarder from the Middle East to compete professionally in the Freeride World Qualifier, a series of big-mountain events that attract the best riders in the world. She’s also a talented surfer, rock climber, and mountain biker. All this is more impressive when you consider the fact that in her home country of Iran, Seraji faces strict rules about how women can participate in athletics. Women aren’t allowed in sports stadiums, for example. They’re discouraged from riding bicycles in public. They can be arrested for showing too much skin or hair. In the United States, that sort of stuff is pretty much all we hear about female athletes—and women generally—in the Middle East. But it’s only part of the picture. Outside contributing editor Florence Williams talks with Seraji to get the real deal and hear how the athlete’s powerful ambition enabled her to break new ground.

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Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, and have since expanded our show to offer a range of story formats, including reports from our correspondents in the field and interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and the outdoors.