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» 07/13/2012 10:04
SAUDI ARABIA - OLYMPICS
Saudi Arabia reveals two women athletes, first to compete for country in Olympic Games
Sarah Attare in athletics, Wodjan Abdulrahim Ali Seraj in judo. The choice of female athletes has caused many difficulties for the local Olympic committee, who have struggled to find candidates with the necessary requirements to participate in the Olympics.

London (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Saudi Arabia has revealed the names of two female athletes who will compete in the Olympics in London 2012: Sarah Attar and Wodjan Abdulrahim Ali Seraj. The first will compete in the 800 meters race, the second in the judo. So far neither has issued statements. The choice of female athletes has caused many difficulties to the local Olympic committee, who have struggled to find candidates with the necessary requirements to participate in the Olympics.

The Saudi kingdom removed the ban on women taking part in the Olympic Games on June 26. The risk was the exclusion from athletics for sex discrimination. King Abdullah's decision sparked a fierce debate between the ruling dynasty, custodian of the holy places of Islam and the religious authorities, who accuse the monarch of violating Koranic laws. In 2008 Saudi Arabia had agreed to allow Dalma Rushdi Malhas, born in the United States to Saudi parents, to compete at the Beijing Games in the equestrian competition.

In February, Human Rights Watch released a report on women and sport in the country, asking the Saudi government to respect the right of women to practice a sport and the International Olympic Committee to take action against Saudi Arabia. The Olympic Charter - which sets the general rules of the Games - provides for the exclusion of any country that practices a form of discrimination. The norm has been applied several times in the past: South Africa, for example, could not participate in competitions from 1964 to 1992 because of apartheid, while Afghanistan was ruled out of the 2000 Olympics because of women's oppression under the Taliban regime.

In the wake of the Saudi case, two other Islamic countries, Qatar and Brunei, also for the first time in their history, will send women athletes to the Olympic Games.

In total, about 10,500 women athletes who will compete in the Olympics in London, representing over 200 countries.

 


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See also
07/31/2012 G. BRITAIN - S. ARABIA
London 2012: Saudi judoka can compete (with veil)
11/10/2011 SAUDI ARABIA
In the name of their mothers Saudis break with tradition on Twitter
08/12/2010 SINGAPORE
Singapore worse than Beijing, no Mass for athletes at Youth Olympics
by Jeremy Lim
02/11/2008 CHINA
Beijing applauds the gag order on athletes. Great Britain is reconsidering it
10/29/2008 SAUDIA ARABIA
Muslim wives can use karate against violent husbands

Editor's choices
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.
CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION
Xi Jinping returns home full of deals and silence
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chinese president signed agreements worth tens of billions of Euros in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. He also stayed clear of any press conference. At the College of Europe in Bruges, he presented his dream of a new trillion-dollar Silk Road. Yet, he also made it clear that at home, the monopoly of power stays with the Party, squashing any dream for political reform in China. On the Internet, netizens disagree with him.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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