// At the Beijing Olympics, the Hijab Emerges
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« on: Aug 19, 2008 08:44 PM »

This is such a wonderful sight.  Not only were there hijabis during the Parade of Nations but they are competing without uncovering.      The link to the article is at the bottom for anyone that would like to see what the hijood looks like.


At the Beijing Olympics, the Hijab Emerges
Monday August 18, 2008

So far, the 2008 Olympics has been all Michael Phelps, Dara Torres, Chinese divers, Liu Xiang bowing out (gasp!), gymnastics, Usain Bolt, Redeem Team, U.S. men's water polo, Kerry Walsh and Misty May-Trainer (this list is getting so long!) and Jamaican sprinters. Very inspirational stuff.

But for me, the excitement kicks into overdrive Tuesday night when Bahrain's Ruqaya Al Ghasara takes the track at the Bird's Nest stadium in the 200 m sprint--in her specially designed, flaming red hijood. What's that?

A sports hijab, natch.

The Beijing Games has featured an unprecedented number of Muslim athletes performing in hijab (or headscarf) and within the technical parameters of Islamic modest dressing. Track & field, taekwondo, fencing, rowing, archery--all these sports feature strong Muslim women athletes fully covered up and in various types of hijab as they contend for medals. The athletes hail from Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Bahrain, Yemen, the Gulf Nations of the United Arab Emerites, and Oman.

Al Ghasara, the flag bearer for Bahrain, is the golden girl of the hijabis (an affectionate term Muslims give to women who wear the hijab), as she was first to strike gold on the international circuit, winning at the 2006 West Asian games in Doha, Qatar.

Al Ghasara believes her specially-designed hijood and clothes is the perfect combination of modesty and high performance, saying "I hope that my wearing the hijood sports top will inspire other women to see that modesty or religious beliefs don't have to be a barrier to participating in competitive sports."

As a fellow hijabi, I am excited by what she and the other headscarf-wearing athletes are doing in Bejing. And though I know the verdict is out on whether what they do (competing in fitted, but fully-covered up clothing) truly adheres to the strict definition of Islamic modest dressing, it's just so cool to see them out there, competing with their hijabs.

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« Reply #1 on: Aug 19, 2008 11:07 PM »


Apparently it's a very competitive field, which makes chances slim if she makes it to the final, but a nice story. She won a qualifying heat; the best part is listening to the commentators, they aren't biased at all Wink

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« Reply #2 on: Aug 19, 2008 11:40 PM »

 pinkhijabisis Subhannah Allah- next year they will all be scarved aerodynamic. Notice the mens swim suits...no more speedos!

"Allah surely knows the warmth of every teardrop... " Jaihoon
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« Reply #3 on: Aug 20, 2008 10:58 PM »

Muslim sprinter wins Olympic sprint dressed head to toe in hijab


Sprinters have long been squeezing their muscular frames into the most eye-wateringly skimpy, tight and revealing costumes imaginable.

But one female athlete at this year’s Olympics is bucking the trend for bulging lycra and naked torsos.

In 2004, Bahrain's Ruqaya Al Ghasara, a devout Muslim, was the first athlete to ever take part in an Olympics wearing a hijab.

Bahrain's Roqaya Al-Gassra powers to victory in her 200m sprint heat today

Today, Al Ghasara won her heat of the women’s 200m sprint at the Bird's Nest stadium - despite being clothed head to foot.

Al Ghasara finished first followed by France's Muriel Hurtis-Houairi and Sri Lanka's Susanthika Jayasinghe.

Admittedly, Al Ghasara 's hijab is a rather sportier version of the traditional dress.

Clinging to her body as she powers down the track the hijab completely covers her head, arms and legs.

Known as a Hijood - or hijab combined with a sports hood - the costume was specially designed for Al Ghasara by an Australian sports clothing company.

It allows Muslim athletes to compete while still adhering to the strict modesty required of their faith.

Al-Gassra prays as she celebrates winning her 200m heat

Al Ghasara, who was the Bahrain flag-bearer at last week’s opening ceremony, jas said the Hijood has improved her performance.

'It’s great to finally have a high performance outfit that allows me to combine my need for modesty with a design made from breathable, moisture-controlled fabric,” she said.

'It’s definitely helped me to improve my times being able to wear something so comfortable and I’m sure it will help me to give my best performance at Beijing.

'I hope that my wearing the hijood sports top will inspire other women to see that modesty or religious beliefs don’t have to be a barrier to participating in competitive sports.'

In 2004 Al Ghasara defied objections from fundamentalists in her village to take part in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, running in the 100 metres.

And in 2006 she won the women’s 200m final at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, making her the first Bahraini-born athlete to win a major international athletics gold medal.
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« Reply #4 on: Aug 20, 2008 11:17 PM »

Yes sprinting or for that matter any of the track events are grueling.  I ran track in high school (won't reveal how long ago that was) but there's no way I'd try to challenge any that went to the Olympics; I would probably look like I was running in slow motion if not reverse.

And yes indeedy so glad the Speedos are gone; they weren't attractive when they were the "in" thing.  Of course I can't say that the replacement item is so great either; it's just plain ugly.  I recall that there was one female track star that always competed in a skirt; granted it was short but it still wasn't the tight almost underwear looking things they are wearing these days.

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