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Mehdi''s painting ''African children also need the Olympics''.
Mehdi, 9, dreams of sport, not war

04 May 2012
Kish Island, Iran: What occupies the dreams of a typical nine-year-old boy? Growing up to be a wealthy businessman? Or maybe a powerful politician? Not so for Mohammad Mehdi Faghani.

Mehdi, from Kish Jomhori Eslami School, has an even bigger dream: that all children from Africa and the rest of the world can throw away their guns, take up a sport they love and compete in the Olympic Games.

For his entry in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games Fun Learn Programme in Iran, Mehdi drew a painting entitled “African children also need the Olympics”.

Under the Olympic Rings and the Higher, Faster and Stronger slogan, an African boy throws away his gun, much to the disgust of a military officer standing next to him.

“I often watch TV and see that many African children are suffering from conflict and war. That is why I drew this picture. I want to tell the world that African children also need the Olympics - but not guns,” Mehdi said.

“I’m just happy to be a part of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games Fun Learn Programme. Although I am not the winner that is ok for me because I can still come to today’s fun run and just enjoy the event.”

When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, a rich businessman or powerful politician, the nine-year-old firmly rejects both. “I want to be a sportsman,” he says. “I want to participate in the Asian Games and Olympic Games. That is my dream when I grow up. Sport is my No.1 choice.”
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