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Sylvia
04-18-2012, 05:22 PM
This article about Zahra Lari, age 17, has been widely distributed online in the past week: http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/04/17/208359.html

From the sand dunes of the Rub al Khali desert to the snow-capped peaks of the Dolomites in northern Italy, Emirati teen Zahra Lari made figure skating history this week.

The 17-year-old not only became the first figure skater from the Gulf to compete in an international competition but the first to do so wearing the hijab, an Islamic headscarf.

“In my country women don't do much sport and even less figure skating,” the quietly-spoken teenager told AFP after competing alongside skaters from 50 countries in the European Cup.

A practicing Muslim, her black headscarf and sober costume, stood out among the flashy orange tutus and fluorescent pink tights.

“I skate with the hijab, my costume is in line with Islamic tradition,” she explained.
More info about the competition, European Cup (part of the European Criterium series), can be found in the Kiss and Cry forum: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?t=83360

Ziggy
04-18-2012, 05:28 PM
That is great news! :respec:

Great that women can skate in trousers/unitards now, nothing stopping the costumes from being 'modest'.

Theoretically a hijab should not be allowed in ISU competitions though, given it's a prop isn't it (being detachable)?

I definitely do not want to discuss the political aspects of this (that's what PI is for), just making a technical point about the rules.

Skaters never cover their heads and only used hats and similar when they were explicitly allowed to do so given the Short Dance theme.

I imagine (and hope) that no referee would actually enforce that rule against a girl who chose to skate in a hijab, though.

pingu
04-18-2012, 05:30 PM
http://www.artonice.it/?q=it/node/11941
This is a picture of her performing during the competition :)

Sylvia
04-18-2012, 05:36 PM
Thanks, pingu! :)

Here are 2 articles that were published about Zahra Lari before she left for Italy:

http://www.thenational.ae/archived/sport/emirati-teen-skates-into-history-books

But before then, her dream is to represent the UAE at the Olympics.

She came a step closer to achieving that goal when the Olympic champion, Evan Lysacek, asked to skate with her twice when he was visiting the capital - a moment Zahra described as the most significant and rewarding of her skating career.
I assume UAE first would have to become a member of the ISU in order for her to have the opportunity to qualify for the Winter Olympics?

http://www.emirates247.com/sports/other/uae-s-ice-princess-to-make-history-at-european-cup-2012-04-05-1.452419

Zahra said: “I train six days a week, before school and after. Before school I get up at 4.30am and do off-ice exercise followed by on-ice training, running through routines and practicing.
...
Zahra’s dream is to represent the UAE in the Olympics, but she jokes: “I’ll have to start learning to land my triples first!”

Photo of Lari with her coaches, Noemi Bedo and Tunde Gal, in Canazei, Italy: http://sports.yahoo.com/oly/photos?slug=2b0f2c31aa77232eee8824d48cadc73c-getty-510236915

overedge
04-18-2012, 05:55 PM
Theoretically a hijab should not be allowed in ISU competitions though, given it's a prop isn't it (being detachable)?



I think a prop only becomes a prop when it's actually detached and used. If it stays attached to the costume, that's not a problem.

Nadya
04-18-2012, 06:18 PM
Good for her, maybe it will be a first step toward mainstreaming figure skating in the Gulf.

Although realistically, the culture militates against it for several reasons:

1. Figure skating costumes are really not Shariah-compliant, and if they are, they are unwatchable. It's not just about the headcover.

2. She'll be seen as someone with an American mother, therefore not 100% Arab.

3. Clearly comes from a very liberal family.

Still, good for her. Her next challenge is to actually move from a curiosity status to a viable competitor status.

Jaana
04-18-2012, 06:26 PM
Is this a little bit different third article:

http://gulfnews.com/sport/other-sports/emirati-girl-makes-history-1.1010480


And she has already had a brush with figure skating royalty in Evan Lysacek, the 2010 Olympic and 2009 World Champion. "He is my idol and I even skated with him in Abu Dhabi. I want to take part in the Winter Olympics in 2014 if I can get everything right. If not I will be ready when the 2018 Olympics come around," she said.

She sure is getting attention, great! Good luck to her with her goals.

Orable
04-18-2012, 08:02 PM
I love that they described her outfit as "sober." :lol: I was hoping for more hijabis to get into figure skating after the ISU allowed pants for ladies in competition and it looks like it's starting :)


1. Figure skating costumes are really not Shariah-compliant, and if they are, they are unwatchable. It's not just about the headcover.
What's not Sharia-compliant about her outfit? It's a little tight, sure, but I've definitely seen hijabis wearing tighter clothes in public. And of course, Muslims love to get our sparkle on, so there's that...

Nadya
04-18-2012, 08:20 PM
I love that they described her outfit as "sober." :lol: I was hoping for more hijabis to get into figure skating after the ISU allowed pants for ladies in competition and it looks like it's starting :)

What's not Sharia-compliant about her outfit? It's a little tight, sure, but I've definitely seen hijabis wearing tighter clothes in public. And of course, Muslims love to get our sparkle on, so there's that...
I was wondering about the sober thing too, I wonder if they meant "somber." It's a little out there to infer that orange tutus are drunk, non?

There's nothing wrong with her outfit in my eyes. But conventional interpretation of Shariah compliance is that female outfits cannot draw attention to the body. And without emphasizing beautiful lines, there is no figure skating. The fatwa factory crowd will for sure be throwing a hissy fit because she's "displaying herself" for all and sundry. At one of the forums I read, there was an indignant comment of "if she's that determined to skate, why couldn't she do it where no unrelated males could see her?" I was like, ummm...sure....I hear imaratis are all filthy rich...maybe her Dad can buy her a skating rink where she'll skate in total solitude.

I hope that she will inspire more girls to get into skating, and I hope that she will not get more flack than she can easily bear.

sammyf
04-18-2012, 08:28 PM
Photos and protocols from an event in Dubai last year are on the skating clubs homepage http://www.queenoficeworld.org/v1/ from the pictures all the girls seem to be in normal skating dresses without any head cover. It's great that there are skating opportunites for the kids there.

overedge
04-18-2012, 08:34 PM
Photos and protocols from an event in Dubai last year are on the skating clubs homepage http://www.queenoficeworld.org/v1/ from the pictures all the girls seem to be in normal skating dresses without any head cover.

Yes, but it looks like a lot of those kids are from expat families. And IIRC Dubai is relatively liberal in the Middle East regarding how women dress.

Rottie
04-18-2012, 08:43 PM
She looks terrific. How wonderful that she loves the sport and is able to pursue her dream.

Tinami Amori
04-18-2012, 11:14 PM
Photo of Lari with her coaches, Noemi Bedo and Tunde Gal, in Canazei, Italy: http://sports.yahoo.com/oly/photos?slug=2b0f2c31aa77232eee8824d48cadc73c-getty-510236915

Oh my..... soon she'll be coached by Morozov and skating to "Let Me Entertain You:".:P

julieann
04-18-2012, 11:25 PM
Actually what's covering her head is no different than this (http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2002/10.17/photos/32-champions3-450.jpg) and as long as it remains as part of the costume, she can call it what ever she wants, it would be legal. I'm more surprised her father doesn't have a problem with the nude illusion fabric.

Good for her! :D

agalisgv
04-18-2012, 11:33 PM
The fatwa factory crowd will for sure be throwing a hissy fit because she's "displaying herself" for all and sundry. I don't know--even KSA has female athletes competing internationally in pants and hijab.