A year after putting her competitive basketball career on hold over a headscarf ban, a Muslim player is considering taking her case to Switzerland’s top court.
BAHRAIN scored a thrilling 3-1 victory over Syria last night to book their berth in the semi-finals of the Women's Football Cup Arabia 2010, being held in the kingdom.
The nationals opened the scoring with a brilliant solo effort from Reem Al Hashimi, but the Syrians equalised through Manar Fayez Al Mhanaa two minutes before the break to pave the way for a cut-throat second-half.
But just before the interval, Syria were reduced to 10 men after Manar Mounir Mounthe was shown red for a rash challenge, and Bahrain made the most of their advantage with their two winning goals in the final 45 minutes.
Shaikha Al Anood Al Khalifa restored their lead on the hour mark with a superb display of skill, before Manar Yaqoob Jassin secured the win with a header and only a quarter-hour remaining in the game.
With the result, the Bahrainis claimed their second triumph in as many matches and are now second in group 'A' of the preliminary round.
Palestine rose to the top of the division after crushing Qatar 18-0 in yesterday's other fixture at Al Ahli.
Caroline Sohgian scored five goals to spearhead the Palestinians, who also claimed a semi-final slot with their victory. Natali Shaheen added another four, as Palestine took a 5-0 lead into half-time before continuing their rout the rest of the way.
Bahrain and Palestine meet in their final preliminary round contest tomorrow. The winner will advance to the final four as group winners, while the losers will march on as runners-up.
"We have achieved our first goal in this tournament, which was to qualify for the semi-finals; now we are determined to win the number one spot and continue our good play," Bahrain head coach Khaled Al Harban told the GDN after the match.
Al Harban was one of the centres of attention in a wild opening half last night that contributed to what was arguably the most exciting game of the competition thus far.
With Bahrain leading 1-0 after Reem made an unstoppable run down the left to score from an acute angle, captain Yasmeen Fayez Fouad was given a yellow card after an errant tackle. Coach Al Harban was incensed by the call, and due to his excessive protests, was banished from the touch line by Egyptian referee Howida Hassan.
That was followed moments later by Syria's lone goal in the 43rd minute - a rocket by Mounthe from nearly 30 yards out that Bahraini goalkeeper Huda Ali Salman was powerless to stop.
The Syrian celebrations were cut short, however, when Manar was sent off the very next minute.
Bahrain came into the second-half a different team and dominated possession from the outset.
Shaikha Al Anood put them back ahead after latching onto a high ball from teammate Manar and then rounding a Syrian defender while sprinting towards goal. Shaikha Al Anood then struck from just outside the box, scoring to make it 2-1 despite pressure from the opposing back line.
Manar then capped the win with Bahrain's third from a corner, won following fine approach play from both Marwa Al Majjri and Muna Injenair. Manar rose above the Syrian defenders and headed home from close range.
JORDAN sent out a stern warning to their chief title-rivals in the Women's Football Cup Arabia 2010 last night with a 20-0 drubbing of Iraq in a one-sided group 'B' match played at Al Ahli Club stadium in Mahooz.
Maysa Zaid Mahmood spearheaded the victors in the rout, scoring seven of her team's goals including three in the opening half when they hit the Iraqi net for 11.
The Jordanians cruised the rest of the way, and Maysa capped their impressive salvo with three successive goals minutes before the final whistle to secure their dream start to the competition, which is being held under the patronage of Princess Sabeeka bint Ebrahim Al Khalifa.
Jordan's impressive showing came a day after hosts Bahrain defeated Qatar 17-0 in group 'A'. The Jordanians and Bahrainis are among the tournament favourites.
Iraq, comprised mostly of youngsters in their teens, had reason to celebrate despite the massive defeat, as the game marked the first-ever Fifa-sanctioned international match for their women's national football team.
Meanwhile, Egypt overcame a tough challenge from Lebanon to win 5-1 in yesterday's other group 'B' contest.
Fadwa Atef Ebrahim scored a brace to lead the Egyptians to the win. Like Jordan, they are on three points as the top two teams in the group.
In the Jordanians' lopsided win, nine different players made it onto the score sheet. Stephanie Mazen Yousef was their second-best scorer tallying five goals including a double in the opening six minutes that got her squad going.
By the match's 20th minute, Maysa, Stephanie and Farah Emad Ahmed had found the net that put them ahead 6-0. Maysa had already completed her hat-trick at that point.
They continued to apply the pressure the rest of the half, and both Mira Khaled Khalil and Ala'a Fouad Daoud got in on the scoring action.
Starting the second half, Maysa picked up from where they left off and scored her fourth goal to make it 12-0. Minutes later, Shorooq Khalil Mohammed, Enshirah Ebrahim Mohammed, Shahnaz Yaseen Mahmood and Sama Samir Hamad each added a goal to make it 16-0, before Stephanie struck once more to give her side a 17th.
That paved the way for Maysa to apply the finishing touches and seal the well-deserved win.
"The first match is always the most difficult in any tournament, so I am very happy that we have won and taken our first three points," Jordan coach Maher Abu Hantash said at the post-match Press conference.
"Our aim today was to score as many goals as we can because it will be tough when we play Egypt and Lebanon in our remaining group games. We want to be first in our group and qualify for the semi-finals as the best team, and then hopefully from there make it to the final and win."
For Iraq, coach Salam Omar was not too depressed knowing that his players, some of whom are as young as 13, had achieved something nobody had ever done before them.
"This is our very first official international match, and just for us to be here is already something we are very pleased about," he said.
"It was a real challenge for us to participate in this tournament. We didn't have many players to choose from, and before coming here, three more of our girls suffered injuries, so our squad now is depleted.
"But we will continue to play hard in every game, gain experience, and do the best we can."
Tournament action continues today with another two matches at Al Ahli. At 5.30pm, Qatar take on Palestine followed at 8pm by Bahrain going against Syria.
“Women’s Football Cup ARABIA 2010”: reporting by Arab women journalists!
The Arab media are taking their time discovering women’s football. Coverage of the women’s sport, especially on the mass medium television, is rare and the approach tends to be conventional – goals, results and statistics. Only the competitive side of the sport is covered – and the opportunity missed to attract viewers (including women) whose main interests lie elsewhere. Yet journalists could tell countless stories about people from this world of football and their lives, stories that interest the public at large because the focus is not just the game itself, but the people on the pitch as well as on the sidelines, their struggles, failures and triumphs.
With women’s football, the spectrum of possibilities is wider still, since here important social issues are at stake. In the broadest sense what is at stake is women’s freedom and right to play football, a sport generally perceived as a male domain. Especially in the Arab world women football players stand for a young, self-confident generation keen to take up this challenge.
During the Women’s Football Cup ARABIA 2010 Deutsche Welle is organizing a DW-AKADEMIE workshop for Arab women journalists designed to help them produce professional coverage of women’s football. The main target group are women journalists on the sports coverage staff of Arab television stations with experience in producing sports programmes. But also women journalists with an interest in football from these stations’ current affairs programming or who are members of reporter pools will be participating in the workshop.
At the invitation of DW-AKADEMIE, ten women journalists from Arab partner broadcasters –including two from Bahrain – will participate. They are all from countries that will be competing in the Women’s Football Cup ARABIA 2010.
Since the aim of the exercise is production training, the focus will be on practical work. With their innovative coverage of the Women’s Football Cup ARABIA 2010, it is hoped the participants will help give women’s football in their home countries a higher profile in future.
DW-AKADEMIE is Deutsche Welle’s international centre for media development and consultancy as well as training for journalists. It offers its partner broadcasters and customers around the world a broad range of training and consultancy services.
By Charles Robinson
Samia Yusuf Omar headed back to Somalia Sunday, returning to the small two-room house in Mogadishu shared by seven family members. Her mother lives there, selling fruits and vegetables. Her father is buried there, the victim of a wayward artillery shell that hit their home and also killed Samia’s aunt and uncle.
This is the Olympic story we never heard.
It’s about a girl whose Beijing moment lasted a mere 32 seconds – the slowest 200-meter dash time out of the 46 women who competed in the event. Thirty-two seconds that almost nobody saw but that she carries home with her, swelled with joy and wonderment. Back to a decades-long civil war that has flattened much of her city. Back to an Olympic program with few Olympians and no facilities. Back to meals of flat bread, wheat porridge and tap water.
“I have my pride,” she said through a translator before leaving China. “This is the highest thing any athlete can hope for. It has been a very happy experience for me. I am proud to bring the Somali flag to fly with all of these countries, and to stand with the best athletes in the world.”
There are many life stories that collide in each Olympics – many intriguing tales of glory and tragedy. Beijing delivered the electricity ofUsain Bolt and the determination of Michael Phelps. It left hearts heavy with the disappointment of Liu Xiang and the heartache of Hugh McCutcheon.
But it also gave us Samia Yusuf Omar – one small girl from one chaotic country – and a story that might have gone unnoticed if it hadn’t been for a roaring half-empty stadium.
It was Aug. 19, and the tiny girl had crossed over seven lanes to find her starting block in her 200-meter heat. She walked past Jamaica’sVeronica Campbell-Brown – the eventual gold medalist in the event. Samia had read about Campbell-Brown in track and field magazines and once watched her in wonderment on television. As a cameraman panned down the starting blocks, it settled on lane No. 2, on a 17-year old girl with the frame of a Kenyan distance runner. Samia’s biography in the Olympic media system contained almost no information, other than her 5-foot-4, 119-pound frame. There was no mention of her personal best times and nothing on previous track meets. Somalia, it was later explained, has a hard time organizing the records of its athletes.
She looked so odd and out of place among her competitors, with her white headband and a baggy, untucked T-shirt. The legs on her wiry frame were thin and spindly, and her arms poked out of her sleeves like the twigs of a sapling. She tugged at the bottom of her shirt and shot an occasional nervous glance at the other runners in her heat. Each had muscles bulging from beneath their skin-tight track suits. Many outweighed Samia by nearly 40 pounds.
After introductions, she knelt into her starting block.
The country of Somalia sent two athletes to the Beijing Games – Samia and distance runner Abdi Said Ibrahim, who competed in the men’s 5,000-meter event. Like Samia, Abdi finished last in his event, overmatched by competitors who were groomed for their Olympic moment. Somalia has only loose-knit programs supporting its Olympians, few coaches, and few facilities. With a civil war tearing the city apart since the Somali government’s collapse in 1991, Mogadishu Stadium has become one of the bloodiest pieces of real estate in the city – housing U.N. forces in the early 1990s and now a military compound for insurgents.
That has left the country’s track athletes to train in Coni Stadium, an artillery-pocked structure built in 1958 which has no track, endless divots, and has been overtaken by weeds and plants.
“Sports are not a priority for Somalia,” said Duran Farah, vice president of the Somali Olympic Committee. “There is no money for facilities or training. The war, the security, the difficulties with food and everything – there are just many other internal difficulties to deal with.”
That leaves athletes such as Samia and 18-year old Abdi without the normal comforts and structure enjoyed by almost every other athlete in the Olympic Games. They don’t receive consistent coaching, don’t compete in meets on a regular basis and struggle to find safety in something as simple as going out for a daily run.
When Samia cannot make it to the stadium, she runs in the streets, where she runs into roadblocks of burning tires and refuse set out by insurgents. She is often bullied and threatened by militia or locals who believe that Muslim women should not take part in sports. In hopes of lessening the abuse, she runs in the oppressive heat wearing long sleeves, sweat pants and a head scarf. Even then, she is told her place should be in the home – not participating in sports.
“For some men, nothing is good enough,” Farah said.
Even Abdi faces constant difficulties, passing through military checkpoints where he is shaken down for money. And when he has competed in sanctioned track events, gun-toting insurgents have threatened his life for what they viewed as compliance with the interim government.
“Once, the insurgents were very unhappy,” he said. “When we went back home, my friends and I were rounded up and we were told if we did it again, we would get killed. Some of my friends stopped being in sports. I had many phone calls threatening me, that if I didn’t stop running, I would get killed. Lately, I do not have these problems. I think probably they realized we just wanted to be athletes and were not involved with the government.”
But the interim government has not been able to offer support, instead spending its cash and energy arming Ethiopian allies for the fight against insurgents. Other than organizing a meet to compete for Olympic selection – in which the Somali Olympic federation chose whom it believed to be its two best performers – there has been little lavished on athletes. While other countries pour millions into the training and perfecting of their Olympic stars, Somalia offers little guidance and no doctors, not even a stipend for food.
“The food is not something that is measured and given to us every day,” Samia said. “We eat whatever we can get.”
On the best days, that means getting protein from a small portion of fish, camel or goat meat, and carbohydrates from bananas or citrus fruits growing in local trees. On the worst days – and there are long stretches of those – it means surviving on water and Angera, a flat bread made from a mixture of wheat and barley.
“There is no grocery store,” Abdi said. “We can’t go shopping for whatever we want.”
He laughs at this thought, with a smile that is missing a front tooth.
When the gun went off in Samia’s 200-meter heat, seven women blasted from their starting blocks, registering as little as 16 one-hundredths of a second of reaction time. Samia’s start was slow enough that the computer didn’t read it, leaving her reaction time blank on the heat’s statistical printout.
Within seconds, seven competitors were thundering around the curve in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest, struggling to separate themselves from one another. Samia was just entering the curve when her opponents were nearing the finish line. A local television feed had lost her entirely by the time Veronica Campbell-Brown crossed the finish line in a trotting 23.04 seconds.
As the athletes came to a halt and knelt, stretching and sucking deep breaths, a camera moved to ground level. In the background of the picture, a white dot wearing a headband could be seen coming down the stretch.
Until this month, Samia had been to two countries outside of her own – Djibouti and Ethiopia. Asked how she will describe Beijing, her eyes get big and she snickers from under a blue and white Olympic baseball cap.
“The stadiums, I never thought something like this existed in the world,” she said. “The buildings in the city, it was all very surprising. It will probably take days to finish all the stories we have to tell.”
Asked about Beijing’s otherworldly Water Cube, she lets out a sigh: “Ahhhhhhh.”
Before she can answer, Abdi cuts her off.
“I didn’t know what it was when I saw it,” he said. “Is it plastic? Is it magic?”
Few buildings are beyond two or three stories tall in Mogadishu, and those still standing are mostly in tatters. Only pictures will be able to describe some of Beijing’s structures, from the ancient architecture of the Forbidden City to the modernity of the Water Cube and the Bird’s Nest.
“The Olympic fire in the stadium, everywhere I am, it is always up there,” Samia said. “It’s like the moon. I look up wherever I go, it is there.”
These are the stories they will relish when they return to Somalia, which they believe has, for one brief moment, united the country’s warring tribes. Farah said he had received calls from countrymen all over the world, asking how their two athletes were doing and what they had experienced in China. On the morning of Samia’s race, it was just after 5 a.m., and locals from her neighborhood were scrambling to find a television with a broadcast.
“People stayed awake to see it,” Farah said. “The good thing, sports is the one thing which unites all of Somalia.”
That is one of the common threads they share with every athlete at the Games. Just being an Olympian and carrying the country’s flag brings an immense sense of pride to families and neighborhoods which typically know only despair.
A pride that Samia will share with her mother, three brothers and three sisters. A pride that Abdi will carry home to his father, two brothers and two sisters. Like Samia’s father two years ago, Abdi’s mother was killed in the civil war, by a mortar shell that hit the family’s home in 1993.
“We are very proud,” Samia said. “Because of us, the Somali flag is raised among all the other nations’ flags. You can’t imagine how proud we were when we were marching in the Opening Ceremonies with the flag.
“Despite the difficulties and everything we’ve had with our country, we feel great pride in our accomplishment.”
As Samia came down the stretch in her 200-meter heat, she realized that the Somalian Olympic federation had chosen to place her in the wrong event. The 200 wasn’t nearly the best event for a middle distance runner. But the federation believed the dash would serve as a “good experience” for her. Now she was coming down the stretch alone, pumping her arms and tilting her head to the side with a look of despair.
Suddenly, the half-empty stadium realized there was still a runner on the track, still pushing to get across the finish line almost eight seconds behind the seven women who had already completed the race. In the last 50 meters, much of the stadium rose to its feet, flooding the track below with cheers of encouragement. A few competitors who had left Samia behind turned and watched it unfold.
As Samia crossed the line in 32.16 seconds, the crowd roared in applause. Bahamian runnerSheniqua Ferguson, the next smallest woman on the track at 5-foot-7 and 130 pounds, looked at the girl crossing the finish and thought to herself, “Wow, she’s tiny.”
“She must love running,” Ferguson said later.
Several days later, Samia waved off her Olympic moment as being inspirational. While she was still filled with joy over her chance to compete, and though she knew she had done all she could, part of her seemed embarrassed that the crowd had risen to its feet to help push her across the finish line.
“I was happy the people were cheering and encouraging me,” she said. “But I would have liked to be cheered because I won, not because I needed encouragement. It is something I will work on. I will try my best not to be the last person next time. It was very nice for people to give me that encouragement, but I would prefer the winning cheer.
She shrugged and smiled.
“I knew it was an uphill task.”
And there it was. While the Olympics are often promoted for the fastest and strongest and most agile champions, there is something to be said for the ones who finish out of the limelight. The ones who finish last and leave with their pride.
At their best, the Olympics still signify competition and purity, a love for sport. What represents that better than two athletes who carry their country’s flag into the Games despite their country’s inability to carry them before that moment? What better way to find the best of the Olympic spirit than by looking at those who endure so much that would break it?
“We know that we are different from the other athletes,” Samia said. “But we don’t want to show it. We try our best to look like all the rest. We understand we are not anywhere near the level of the other competitors here. We understand that very, very well. But more than anything else, we would like to show the dignity of ourselves and our country.”
She smiles when she says this, sitting a stone’s throw from a Somalian flag that she and her countryman Abdi brought to these Games. They came and went from Beijing largely unnoticed, but may have been the most dignified example these Olympics could offer.
27- 28 November , 2010
The Sport Organization of the Municipality of Tehran invites all members of the sport community to participate in an international conference which is conducted as a joint venture of the International Association of Physical Education and Sport of Girls and Women (IAPESGW) and the city of Tehran. The conference aims at an exchange of knowledge and an increase of co-operation in the area of sport sciences and physical education.
About the conference: There is abundant evidence, that sport and physical exercises have a positive impact on health, well being and social relations. However, it is very difficult to motivate people to participate in recreational activities, in particular in large cities, where the environment and/or the lack of facilities do not encourage sports and fitness activities. Whereas boys and young men can find opportunities to play football or other sports, the majority of women and girls do not participate in physical exercises and sports.
The aim of the conference is to share experiences, information and scientific knowledge about the “movement culture” of girls and women: Their opinions and attitudes towards sport (for all), their motivations and barriers, their experiences and practices will be explored. Important topics of the conference are also the reasons for sport participation and inactivity as well as the strategies and measures to encourage an active life style among the population in large cities. Here physical education plays a large role. Therefore the quality of PE, in particular for girls, will be a focus on this event.
One day before the conference, an IAPESGW workshop with the same topic will take place where IAPESGW members and Iranian experts exchange knowledge and expertise.
The result of this workshop will be presented at the conference.
Key notes: IAPESGW is supporting developments in Iran and the event that is inviting the following guest contributors (see website under New Executive Board for details www.iapesgw.org
Professor Gertrud Pfister - Committee of consultants (Denmark)
Professor Rosa Lopez de D'Amico - Vice president (Venezuela)
Professor Maryam Koushkie Jahromi - Executive Board (Iran)
Reports about the results of the Workshop “Woman and girls , let’s move”, organised by IAPESGW and the Municipality of Tehran
Topics – as suggestions:
· Sport Activities – opportunities and challenges for women and men
· Sport (for all) in large cities – facilities and programs
· Cities and their spaces for physical activities
· How to activate the population and how to organise sport for all in cities
· International Cooperation in the Field of Physical Education and Sport Sciences
· Quality in School Sport
· PE and Sport Sciences: A Potential for Co-operation
· Sport Activities and Cultural Diversity
· New Trends in Sport Sciences
· Open papers
Please feel free to send in abstracts on other topics, we offer an open paper section.
Scholars and experts are invited to participate in the conference and in the discussion.
Those who would like to give a paper have to send an abstract
Deadline for submission of abstract: 30th October 2010
Notification of acceptance: November 5th
Deadline for registration and hotel booking: November 12th
Deadline for submitting the visa: November 18th
Arrival and registration: November 26th
Workshop Conference days – 27th , 28th November
Departure 29th - 30th November
Abstracts may not exceed 3000 characters (including spaces, title, authors and institutions).
Submit by email to Iman Mohktari - email@example.com
There will be no conference fee, but registration is necessary. Deadline for registration is November
There is no registration fee .
The participants have to pay for their accommodation and dinner.
Lunches, tea and coffee breaks during the conference are free .
You can book your room via the website of the hotel (alternative booking site)
There are direct flights to Tehran (IKA) from any airport around the world.
October is autumn in
The languages used in papers, discussions and presentations are English and Farsi.
Currency: Iranian Rial IRR 10005= US$ 1
There is limited international credit card service, please bring money ( US $ or Euro ) in cash .
The Conference organizers invite established scholars, researchers, practitioners and students from all countries. Delegates from some countries might require visas to enter
Others may get visas at the airport, but they have to send copies of their passports till November 18th
Please respect the Islamic dress code in
Participating and Supporting Organizations:
- Sport Organization , Municipality Of
- International Association of Physical Education and Sport for Girls and Women (IAPESGW)
v Organizing Committee
v Dr. I. Mokhtari
v Dr. V. Mousavi
v Mrs. M. Karimi
v Scientific Committee
v (alphabetically arranged)
v Dr. Iman Mokhtari Iran
v Prof. Gertrud Pfister Denmark
v Dr. Maryam Koushki Iran
v Prof. Rosa Lopez de D’Amico Venezuela
v Dr. V. Mousavi Iran
Mohammed Hajaghamir : Manager , Sport Organization (Iran)
Mitra Karima Dastjerdi :Deputy , Sport Organization (Iran)
For additional information
Please contact: Iman Mohktari
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Event information September 2010