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Thread: Zahra Lari - Arab Emirates Skater

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    Medalist Carmen95's Avatar
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    News Zahra Lari - Arab Emirates Skater

    Hey,

    I don´t know if there already is a thread about this young skater, Zahra Lari, but here is an article (in german) about the (first?) muslim figure skater, having the goal to compete at Pyeongchang in 2018.

    http://www.fr-online.de/panorama/eis...,26339004.html

    And also a short reportage about her: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOVqh96PeQs

    She has been skating for 6 years now, also competed internationally and now has the high goal to reach the Olympics. If she would be able to do so, she would be the first athlete from the United Arab Emirates to compete at the Winter Olympics.
    There were some complainings about her skating with a headscarf, and she is also highly critisized by highly conservative muslims to show to much of her attraction even she is skating fully covered.
    On facebook she was already critisized by some skating fans because of the political statement of supression transferred by the headscarf and that the ISU should act against that and also a unqualified statement: " Zur nächsten Olympiade, wie lächerlich. Mit dem Outfit kann sie bestenfalls zur arabischen Meisterschaft im Kameltreiben antreten." -> meaning so much as her aim was hilarious and with that outfit she could only compete at the arab championships in camel battue- This makes me angry as none of them had seen her skate and seem to think that the costume matters everything in a skating performance.

    Even if I am not agreeing on women wearing headscarves I still recognize that this is something about the culture and the religion, which I highly tolerate and don´t think that she should be banned from competitions as she is not responsible for her cultural background. I kinda compare the possibility that she could be banned with a skater wearing a cross necklace while being on ice, which is also such a statement.
    I highly admire her for fighting for her dreams, even while being confronted with very contradictory conditions.

    What do you think about her aims? I hope we can discuss a bit about this topic, if the ISU should permit her to skate fully covered (as some people demand to not let her skate as this would be a political statement)

  2. #2
    Custom Title LRK's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing!

    I don't think she's the first Muslim skater, as there are a few I can think of that have, to me (I'm a Muslim), Muslim-sounding names. But maybe the first to compete internationally while wearing the hijab?

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    Size 7 Knife Boots Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    Thank you. Brought a tear to my eye! I hope her dreams come true.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    This was a great costume.

    http://wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.c...e-princess.jpg

    I didn't care so much for the newer one pictured in the article.

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    Landing 3As in my dreams! skatedreamer's Avatar
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    She sounds like an amazingly courageous young woman. I hope she achieves everything she wants -- and then some!

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LRK View Post
    I don't think she's the first Muslim skater, as there are a few I can think of that have, to me (I'm a Muslim), Muslim-sounding names.
    I wonder if former U.S. men's competitor Armin Mahbanoozedah is Muslim? (His name means son of the moon goddess in Persian.)

    There was a U.S. brother and sister pairs team a number of years ago who were Arab-Americans (I don't know their religion.) I can't remember their names now (I think her first name was Simi ?) They made a big splash in winning the U.S. Novice title, but he aged out out and they didn't get past juniors. She coached at Michelle Kwan's rink for a while. Does anyone recall this this delightful young team?

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    Guessing Nadjma Mahamoud might be too (even if she competes for France). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNSlAW7tHIs

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    Medalist Carmen95's Avatar
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    I just needed to share this because of the negative commentary in the thread were I found this... I had to fight a lot of rage inside of me because of the intolerance of some people. It was shaming to read such comments from people from my country... :(
    They did not even moved two fingers to look up her skating on youtube before they judged her for being who she is.

    Okay, then not the first muslim skater, but she definetely seems to be the first one with full body cover - I also don´t see the arguments concerning the safety because of it. She probably already wore it when she started skating, so she is used to it.

  10. #10
    Custom Title LRK's Avatar
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    I think it's a knee-jerk reaction for some.

    Like you, I don't know why it would affect her safety? It seems to be bound very tight, so it's not like there's fluttering cloth that would get in the way of her line of sight.

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    In search of a summer sport to love <3 desertskates's Avatar
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    Wow, what a wonderful and dedicated young woman. I really hope she goes far, she certainly seems to have the work ethic. With her smile and determination, I barely even noticed her headscarf. In an ideal world it would be a non-topic.

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    We can see many turkish skaters since the 1990s. Tugba Karademir for example... And some skaters from Malaysia, who is mostly a muslim country too.

    But Zahra Larii and an other girl, Amira Abdul Moati, are the first to represent an arab country. Morocco is an ISU member too, but I've not seen any competitors since their membership...

    I find headscarf is sexist because only girls are required to wear it, but without this she probably couldn't skate. So it's a first step for woman's freedom in these countries. So a good thing.

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    In search of a summer sport to love <3 desertskates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nirti View Post
    We can see many turkish skaters since the 1990s. Tugba Karademir for example... And some skaters from Malaysia, who is mostly a muslim country too.

    But Zahra Larii and an other girl, Amira Abdul Moati, are the first to represent an arab country. Morocco is an ISU member too, but I've not seen any competitors since their membership...

    I find headscarf is sexist because only girls are required to wear it, but without this she probably couldn't skate. So it's a first step for woman's freedom in these countries. So a good thing.
    There are a couple of rinks in Morocco in the newer malls. I went to one in Rabat a couple of years ago while on vacation out of curiosity. It was very nice and quite crowded. It would not surprise me in the least to Moroccan skaters in the future.

    Edit: I found this on youtube, it's a video of the scene in a Moroccan rink. A fair amount of recreational skaters are not as shabby at staying upright than one would think
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QN05C5IQQw

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carmen95 View Post
    Even if I am not agreeing on women wearing headscarves I still recognize that this is something about the culture and the religion, which I highly tolerate and don´t think that she should be banned from competitions as she is not responsible for her cultural background. I kinda compare the possibility that she could be banned with a skater wearing a cross necklace while being on ice, which is also such a statement.
    It is, in fact, more than just a statement (like wearing a cross necklace would be for a Christian). It is a religious obligation.

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    Landing 3As in my dreams! skatedreamer's Avatar
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    I just watched a couple of videos of Zahra on YouTube. Aside from her talent, she's wonderfully charming and articulate, and has a very special kind of courage to follow her dream in the face of the kind of opposition she's getting from some quarters. There were some horrible comments posted re: the videos. Wish I hadn't read them; they made me feel so sad and angry that I got teary-eyed.

    Good for you, Zahra -- you go, girl!

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