Just a week ago, this Blog carried the story of Qatar’s Ms. Malki who will be at the London Olympics to represent her country as the first female athlete. By that seemingly simple act and despite Saudi Arabia’s vehement declaration that the idea of women’s participation in the Olympics is not for now, the flood-gate seems now open to women’s participation throughout the Arab world. How? Saudi Arabia just announced the lifting of the veil on one of the obstacles to women’s full participation in their society.
From a country that banned the participation of girls in school sports to one that will now send a female to London next month – all within a month – is more than a giant step for women of the Middle East, Muslim women everywhere and women in general.
Now, with the seat of Islam giving a nod to open the door ever so slightly to women’s sports participation, we can all say, as Fatai Bakare, a regular commentator on this Blog wrote on the Malki story June 20:
Congrats, this will be the beginning of women’s liberation from the Arabian World.
The dominoes are falling – sort of!