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» 07/13/2012
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
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

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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