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Current Stars
 

Current Assyrian Professional Athletes - Basketball

Nahrin Nina
Baresso

Brief Profile

Nina is Södertälje’s sweetheart and soon she will become yours too. Her photos should be embellishing our children’s walls and school lockers. She proudly writes in her official website that she’s “Assyrian and Swedish, married to Daniel" and has a little boy they named Enlil. She even mentions her religion: Syrian Orthodox. Her favorite music? Madonna, Assyrian and Spanish music.

 

This is not your typical Andre Aghassi who actively disassociates himself from his Assyrian heritage.

 

Leave the Andre Aghassis of the world to Nike and American Express! Nina Baresso is simply the best Swedish basketball player today. Her team, Solnas, won the 2004 Swedish Women Basketball championship.

 

Baresso's team has won this championship five times. Enlil, Nina's 11-month baby and a large Assyrian crowd were among the audience that attended the final game.

 


Assyrian-Swedish baskeball star, Nina Baresso and
husband, Daniel Danial hold their son, Enlil.
(Photo by Zinda Magazine)

Nahrin (Nina) Baresso
Assyrian Basketball Star & Ambassador of Södertälja, Sweden

 

Photo by Assyrians Without Borders

Nahrin Nina Baresso, ambassador for AWB

(Interview by Assyrians without Borders )

 

Assyrians Without Borders met Nahrin Nina Baresso at her home in Södertälje, Sweden. Her children Enlil, Dilmon and Kiela had just gone to bed. After a short tour around the house, we sat down to find out more about Nina Baresso and discuss her future role as the ambassador of Assyrians Without Borders.

 

Nina was born in 1975 in Södertälje, Sweden and she started playing basketball for the team of Södertälje called SBBK at a young age. SBBK is where her carrier as a professional player started. She played for 21 years of her life in different Swedish elite clubs but also for the Swedish national team and as a professional player in Spain’s highest league. Nina was the sports journalists’ favorite during many years and many articles were written about her. She has always been a different basketball player and a different Assyrian. Her successful career led to her differing from other Assyrians and her immigrant roots, that she always has been proud of, led to the fact that she never really felt like part of the group among her teammates in Sweden. She explains that she had to fight against both Assyrian and Swedish prejudices, the Assyrian prejudice that a woman cannot be a professional basketball player and be a good wife and mother at the same time. And the Swedish prejudice that immigrants do not belong in the Swedish elite basketball.

 

During her career, Nina often had to show more than others that she deserves her place in the top. She often came across obstacles, but the bad times got her to push herself even harder and be the best she could be. She finally showed Sweden that one can be an immigrant and still make it to the top and she showed her Assyrian community that one can be in the Swedish elite sports without having to deny his/her own culture and roots. Nina has been active within the Assyrian movement since always, through the Assyrian association of Södertälje and she has played basketball in the highest divisions of both Sweden and Spain. With a strong and intact Assyrian identity, Nina Baresso is today a three time winner of the Swedish Championship in Basketball, a proud wife and mother, a role model for many teenagers, the ambassador of Södertälje and last but not least – now even the ambassador of Assyrians Without Borders.

 

What do you know about Assyrians Without Borders?

- That it is the only Assyrian humanitarian organisation that has a 90-account, which makes it trustworthy and that the organisation works to improve the situation of Assyrians in the homeland no matter what they call themselves or which church they belong to.

 

How and where did you first hear of Assyrians Without Borders?

- I heard of the organisation and saw you for the first time in one of Assyriska FF’s soccer games in the arena of Södertälje.

 

What do you feel is the most important question to prioritise for the Assyrian people right now?

- Not Seyfo (the genocide on Assyrians in Turkey in 1915) because that would be to look backwards. Even though it still is important to get the genocide recognized, I feel that the refugees’ situation that is growing in Iraq and that is spreading to Syria and Jordan is an actual and emergency question.

 

Have you heard of Assyrians Without Borders’ actual campaign called “5 kronors per goal” that has been carried out for two years now on the initiative of Josef and Aziz Barkarmo in Norrköping, Sweden? The campaign consists in the supporters of the three Assyrian soccer teams Assyriska Fotbolls Föreningen Södertälje, Assyriska IF in Norrköping och Assyriska BK in Göteborg, donating five kronors for each of the goals that their respective team makes during this season. What do you think of this campaign?

- Yes I have heard of it, and I think it is a very good idea considering the fact that most if not all fans of Assyrian teams also support the Assyrian cause and would probably more than gladly help Assyrians in need.

 

Can you explain why you were willing to accept the role of ambassador for Assyrians Without Borders?

- It is an honour to have been asked. I feel honoured. It has always been a goal to help Assyrians in need. I love my people and whenever I have been in the media, I have tried to lobby for the Assyrian cause. When Assyrians Without Borders asked me to be their ambassador, I didn’t hesitate a second to say yes.

 

What are your expectations and hopes about the organization?

- Hopefully that Assyrians Without Borders will be able to help as many Assyrians as possible to improve their living situations so that they get the means they need to keep on living in the homeland under circumstances that are good enough. I also have as both a hope and an expectation that as many as possible both in Sweden and in the rest of the western world will want to help our people in need.

 

We asked you to be our representative outwards because we think that you are a good role model for our people. How do you think that you can help Assyrians Without Borders and thus the Assyrians in the homeland?
- I have a wide social network and I tell people more than willingly about Assyrians Without Borders. I can do whatever it takes.

 

Danielle Barsoum

Assyrians Without Borders

 
 

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Last Updated :September 27, 2014

 
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