Some news about her: http://gulfnews.com/sport/other-spor...arts-1.1299998 (link courtesy of Sylvia from Unseen Skaters).
And it's very good news. Zsolt Kerekes is now working at Zayed Sports City. He used to work in the Netherlands and from what I have heard, he is a really good coach so fingers crossed that he's going to aid not only her development but also work on developing the next generation of UAE skaters.
She quite possibly DOESN'T want to skate without it.
Originally Posted by Nirti
She will never be competitive internationally but it's still a good thing and builds acceptance and popularity of the sport domestically.
One of the articles mentioned that her father initially disapproved of her skating and he needed some convincing so I reckon he is quite conservative/religious.
I might personally disagree with the hijab - which I see as women being essentially told that their sexuality is something shameful that has to be hidden - but I don't have the right to tell anybody what to think, what to believe or what to wear. And even if you do disagree with some people's beliefs or choices, I don't think that it's right to exclude them.
I remember being initially worried that ISU might not allow a skater to wear a hijab because it would be 'a prop' but as long as it's a permanent part of the costume, that is not an issue. And fortunately women have been able to wear pants for a while now. So if a skater wants to be fully covered, they can.
I hope that Lari and Moati can become trail-blazers and role models for other Arab girls and that figure skating can develop in that part of the world as well.
I saw one of the YouTube videos, and she's charming. She has nice carriage and a better Bielmann than Michelle Kwan, for example. (And I'm a Kwan fan!) As for her skating outfit, I find it elegant, and it's no more covered-up than many of the hooded speed-skating or track uniforms have been through the years. If this is what she needs to wear to compete, it's still a step forward for women in her country. You go, girl! May you be the first of many.
He couldn't be VERY conservative to either marry an American or let his daughter ice-skate.
Originally Posted by Ziggy
Figure skating will never penetrate the masses in the Gulf; it will for the foreseeable future remain the province of children of mixed, affluent, somewhat liberal families who spend half their time abroad. Lari is not a tribal Emirati; her mother is American and her father has roots in Iran. An average Arab girl would not look to figure skaters as role models simply because the culture does not encourage it. But the more skating, the better.
Dubai is largely comprised of an immigrant population so whilst I totally understand your point about the culture not encouraging it, even purely statistically the average skater is bound to be an immigrant. Emiratis comprise only 17% of the Dubai population.
I've just looked up Amira Abdul Moati and she's an Egyptian living in UAE.
None of the immigrants have Emirati passports so it's doubtful they could compete for and represent the country. Statistically, someone with an Emirati passport will be an Emirati.
Originally Posted by Ziggy
You don't need citizenship in order to represent a country in international competition. All that you need is resident status. You need citizenship to compete at the Olympics, though, and from what I read, Emirati citizenship is extremely difficult if not near impossible to obtain.
Originally Posted by Nadya