Rayfield assigned Ayub's memoir to the Illini as summer reading
Aug. 10, 2010
Champaign, Ill. - Women's soccer head coach Janet Rayfield and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics announced Author Awista Ayub will host a book signing for her novel, However Tall the Mountain: A Dream, Eight Girls and a Journey Home, during the Illini's exhibition match against the University of Missouri on Friday, Aug. 13. However Tall the Mountain will be available for purchase through the Illini Union Bookstore during the scrimmage while Ayub will be signing from 12:30 - 2 p.m.
"We ask a portion of our team to read this book over the summer and will use the lessons and perspective it provides throughout the season," said Rayfield. "The story she tells goes beyond the sport and shows the incredible challenges faced by a group of young women in Afghanistan who, through soccer, find courage, passion, and friendships to confront and handle those challenges."
Also titled Kabul Girls Soccer Club, the story of However Tall the Mountain chronicles the experiences of Ayub and the first group of eight young Afghan women who attended soccer camp in the United States due to Ayub's exchange program. Since the arrival of the eight girls chronicled in However Tall the Mountain, Ayub's program has grown into an organized league with fifteen team and hundreds more participating through the Afghanistan Football Federation.
In 1981, Ayub's family immigrated to the United States when she was two years old. Ayub began the Afghan Youth Sports Exchange shortly after the fall of the Taliban as a means to make a difference in her home country.
"We had a unique opportunity to bring Awista Ayub, the author, to campus to share her insights with our team," said Rayfield. "Thanks to the Illini Union bookstore we are excited that we can provide an opportunity for our fans and people of the Champaign-Urbana community to also share in the experience."