Amina: the Tuareg girl who dreamed of becoming a professional surfer | Illustration: SurferToday

In the heart of the Sahara desert, there lived a young Tuareg girl named Amina.

She was raised by her parents and grandparents, who were nomads and had a deep connection with the land.

Amina spent most of her time with her family, learning the ways of the dunes and how to survive in its harsh conditions.

But there was one thing that set Amina apart from the rest of her family and community - she dreamed of becoming a professional surfer.

Amina had seen pictures of people surfing in old magazines left by Western tourists, and she was fascinated by the idea of riding the waves.

"How does it feel to walk on water?" she would ask herself regularly.

The blue-eyed Tuareg with dark skin had never seen the ocean, let alone surfed on it, but she knew in her heart that she wanted to be a wave rider.

Amina was determined to make her dream a reality despite the fact that she lived hundreds of miles away from the nearest beach.

Amina: the Tuareg girl who dreamed of surfing in the ocean | Illustration: SurferToday

Dune Waves

Amina started to practice surfing on sand dunes.

She would run up the steep slopes of the dunes and then slide down them on a makeshift board.

It was not the same as surfing in the ocean, but it was the closest she could get to it.

Amina would spend hours every day practicing her moves, trying to perfect her technique, and imagining herself riding the waves of the ocean.

Amina's family thought her passion for surfing was strange, and they did not understand why she would waste her time practicing on sand dunes.

After all, she is a Tuareg - a woman of the sand.

They wanted her to focus on learning the ways of the desert so she could one day become a leader of the tribe.

Amina's parents were worried that her surfing dreams would distract her from her responsibilities, and they tried to discourage her from pursuing them.

But Amina was determined to make her dream a reality. She knew that surfing was her true calling, and she refused to give up on it.

She continued to practice on the sand dunes, and she even started to teach some of the other children in the tribe how to surf.

Amina's love for surfing started to spread, and soon, more and more children in the tribe were surfing on the sand dunes.

Sahara Desert: Amina meets the English surfer travelers | Illustration: SurferToday

Sarah in Sahara

One day, a group of English surfers passed by as they explored the desert on their way to the Atlantic coastline.

The young Tuareg's heart nearly stopped.

"They are carrying surfboards similar to the one I saw in my sun-bleached surf magazine!... What should I do?..."

The tourists were intrigued. A young girl was staring at them, mesmerized.

"Do you want to try surfing?" they seem to ask in an improvised sign language.

Amina's eyes went wet. Seconds later, she could no longer control her tears.

The chance of riding a wave was in front of her, 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) away from these poetic and dry landscapes.

Amina was overjoyed at the prospect of finally being able to surf on real waves.

She begged her parents to let her go with the group to the beach, but they refused.

They did not trust the surfers, and they did not want their daughter to be exposed to the outside world.

Amina was devastated. She felt like her dreams were slipping away, and she did not know what to do.

But then, something incredible happened.

One of the surfers, a kind and adventurous woman named Sarah, took notice of Amina's passion for surfing.

Sarah saw something special in Amina, and she decided to take her under her wing.

Sarah started to visit Amina's tribe regularly, bringing with her surfboards and wetsuits.

She taught Amina and the other children how to sandboard on the dunes, and she encouraged them never to give up on their dreams.

Sarah saw that Amina had the potential to become a great surfer, and she wanted to help her achieve her dreams.

Amina was overjoyed to have Sarah as her mentor. She started to improve rapidly, and she became more confident in her abilities.

Sarah pushed Amina to try new moves, take risks, and never be afraid of failure.

Amina soaked up every bit of knowledge and advice that Sarah gave her, and she knew that she was getting closer and closer to her dream of surfing on the ocean.

Amina: the ocean as a dream | Illustration: SurferToday

The Tuareg Girl and The Ocean

Finally, the day came when Amina was ready to surf on the ocean. The young girl was only 14 years old, but her new friend had gained her parent's trust.

Sarah took her to Agadir in Morocco, where Amina felt a mixture of excitement and nervousness as she saw the vast ocean stretch out before her.

She could hear the roar of the waves and feel the saltwater spray on her face. Sarah stood beside her, offering words of encouragement and support.

Amina took a deep breath and paddled out into the water.

For the first time in her life, Amina felt the rush of adrenaline as she caught her first wave.

She felt the board beneath her feet, the wind in her hair, and the power of the ocean pushing her forward.

Amina rode the wave all the way to the shore, feeling a sense of accomplishment and joy that she had never felt before.

As she looked back out to the ocean, Amina knew that her dream had come true.

She had become a real surfer, not because of the competitions and trophies she had not won yet, but because she had followed her passion and refused to give up on her dreams.

Years later, Amina went on to travel the world, surfing in some of the most beautiful and challenging spots on the planet.

She became a role model for young girls and boys, showing them that anything is possible if they believe in themselves and work hard for their dreams.

Amina: from the slopes of the desert to the ocean wave | Illustration: SurferToday

A Sense of Purpose

Looking back on her journey, Amina realized that the path to achieving her dreams was not an easy one.

She faced many setbacks and obstacles along the way, but she never gave up. She continued to push herself, learn from her mistakes, and keep moving forward.

Amina knew that her success as a surfer was not just about her but about the people who had supported her along the way.

Her family, Sarah, and the surfers who had come to the desert had all played a part in helping her achieve her dreams.

Amina was grateful for all of the people who had helped her, and she wanted to inspire others to follow their dreams, just as she had.

She knew that anyone, no matter where they came from or what challenges they faced, could achieve their dreams if they had the courage and determination to pursue them.

In the end, Amina's story was not just about surfing but about the power of hope, perseverance, and the human spirit.

It showed that dreams could come true, even in the most unlikely of places and against the greatest of odds.

And it inspired people of all ages, genders, and latitudes to start surfing, follow their passions, and believe in themselves.

And so, Amina returned to her tribe with a newfound sense of purpose.

She started teaching surfing to the children again, but this time, she also shared the lessons she had learned about perseverance, courage, and determination.

She encouraged them to follow their dreams, even if they seemed impossible, and to never let anyone tell them that they couldn't achieve something.

Amina became a leader in her community, not just because of her surfing skills but because of her unwavering spirit and her ability to inspire others.

Her family and tribe saw the passion and determination that she had for surfing, and they began to understand that it was not just a frivolous hobby but a way of life for Amina.

Amina: a surfing dream made of desert sand | Illustration: SurferToday

A Legend from the Desert

Years later, when Amina looked back on her life, she knew that surfing had been the catalyst for all of the incredible experiences she had had.

It had taken her from the sand dunes of the Sahara to the shores of the world's most beautiful beaches, and it had taught her invaluable lessons about perseverance, resilience, and the power of following one's dreams.

Amina's story became legendary in the Tuareg community, and her name was spoken with reverence and admiration.

Her legacy lived on in the children she had taught to surf and in the generations that followed, who looked up to her as a symbol of what was possible when one had the courage to follow their heart.

And so, as the sun set over the desert, casting a warm glow over the sand dunes and the nomad tents, Amina knew that she had lived a life full of adventure, excitement, and purpose.

The Tuareg surfer had followed her dreams, and in doing so, she had become a legend.

Words by Andrew Island | Surfer and Traveler

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