Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Asian Games' 200-m champion is a woman in a hijab?

Veil no barrier, says Al Ghasara
Doha: Winning the Asian Games 200 metres in a veil proves there are no barriers to Muslim women pursuing their sporting dreams, champion Ruqaya Al Ghasara said on Monday.
The 24-year-old wore a hijab a scarf which covers the hair and neck along with leggings and long sleeves, but still outpaced her more scantily-clad rivals to win gold for Bahrain.
"I want to say I'm very thankful for being a Muslim; it's a blessing," said the sports management student.
"Wearing conservative clothes has encouraged me. Wearing a veil proves that Muslim women face no obstacles and encourages them to participate in sport. This is a glory to all Muslim women."

Al Ghasara also said it was important that her Tunisian coach Noor Al Deen Tajin understood her culture. "He's a top-class coach, but he's also an Arab-Islamic coach who understands Muslim traditions," she said.