When watching the Olympics this year, don't be surprised if you see more veiled female athletes than before. The Beijing Games will see eleven female athletes from predominately Muslim countries who are opting to wear specially-designed hijabs while they compete. While countries like Saudi Arabia and Brunei do not allow women to officially participate in competitive sports, countries including Egypt, the UAE, Iran, Afghanistan, and Yemen are all sending female athletes to the Games, some for the first time. Roqaya Al Ghasara from Bahrain is perhaps the highest-profile female Muslim athlete; she won the gold in the West Asian Games for sprinting in 2005. She hopes that showing she can compete well in a hijab will break Western stereotypes of Muslim women. [Reuters]
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