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  1. #1

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    Article about the 1st woman from the United Arab Emirates to compete internationally

    This article about Zahra Lari, age 17, has been widely distributed online in the past week: http://english.alarabiya.net/article...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
    Last edited by Sylvia; 04-18-2012 at 05:35 PM.

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    That is great news!

    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.

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    http://www.artonice.it/?q=it/node/11941
    This is a picture of her performing during the competition
    A grumpy Canadian will always be nicer than a polite Milanese

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    Thanks, pingu!

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

    http://www.thenational.ae/archived/s...-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/ot...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?s...etty-510236915
    Last edited by Sylvia; 04-18-2012 at 05:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    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.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    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.
    Nadya

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    Is this a little bit different third article:

    http://gulfnews.com/sport/other-spor...tory-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.

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    I love that they described her outfit as "sober." 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
    Quote Originally Posted by Nadya View Post
    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...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orable View Post
    I love that they described her outfit as "sober." 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.
    Nadya

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sammyf View Post
    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.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    She looks terrific. How wonderful that she loves the sport and is able to pursue her dream.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Photo of Lari with her coaches, Noemi Bedo and Tunde Gal, in Canazei, Italy: http://sports.yahoo.com/oly/photos?s...etty-510236915
    Oh my..... soon she'll be coached by Morozov and skating to "Let Me Entertain You:".

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    Actually what's covering her head is no different than this 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!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadya View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    I don't know--even KSA has female athletes competing internationally in pants and hijab.
    And Iran too. I don't think she's going to get any flack from most Muslims. Maybe some extremely conservative Muslims in the minority but that'll probably be it.

    to her btw! I think this is great. I really hope it'll encourage other hijabis to enter the sport.
    "If people are looking for guarantees, they should buy appliances at Sears and stay away from human relationships."~Prancer

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    The second picture where her outfit is grey, black and blue, it's very tight and revealing. Hope she will not get in trouble with the hardliners. Figure skating does attract the eyes to the body line like few other sports do.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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    I know doing things yourself and teaching them are two very different things but I can't help but remember that Tunde Gal never managed to even land a 2axel in competition when she was competing IIRC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    I know doing things yourself and teaching them are two very different things but I can't help but remember that Tunde Gal never managed to even land a 2axel in competition when she was competing IIRC.
    and Krall never landed any quads either. lol

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    Good on her. We've had skaters from Iran competing at the World Roller Championships since about 2008 (I think). They also wear the hijab. They were so welcomed by the audience and other skaters it was really wonderful to see. By the end of the week these quiet very shy young girls were getting their photos taken with World Champions and were just beaming with joy. Coaches from all over the world were also introducing themselves to the Iranian coaches and giving them tips and advice. It was one of the mot memorable experiences from that week.
    I guess the hard thing for a lot of people to accept is why God would allow me to go running through their yards, yelling and spinning around.


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