Sarah Attar – the Saudi Olympic runner

Lord Soley

I was delighted to see Sarah Attar competing for Saudi. Why? Because she is the first woman to compete for Saudi Arabia but she had to wear a hijab. She came last but as the first woman to take part for the Saudi team she has set an important precedent and I suspect with her foot in the door it will encourage the woman’s movement in Saudi. My guess is that like the early suffragettes she will be a trail blazer.
How long before Saudi women take part and wear conventional athletic dress? My guess is about ten to fifteen years.
What do you think?

26 comments for “Sarah Attar – the Saudi Olympic runner

  1. Dave H
    08/08/2012 at 9:43 pm

    She was their first track and field athlete, but wasn’t Wojdan Shaherkani the first in the Olympics, with a 30-second appearance in the judo competition?

  2. MilesJSD
    08/08/2012 at 10:55 pm

    The suffragettes still did not obtain participatory-democratisation,

    Nor has any other Civil, nor Political, nor Educational, nor Religious movement brought any Nation up to participatory-democratisational governance level.

    Nor constituted and implemented a
    longest-term sustainworthy sustainability.

    Nor are the civil-war and ‘Arab-Spring’ bloodbaths, now holding sway, leading to anything like participatory-democratisation.

    In 15 years time, maybe either nobody will be able to afford Olympic athletic gear,

    or too few will be able to afford even other ‘normal’ clothing;
    such as the hijab, House-of-Lords Robes, or a SWAT-suit;

    or both or all.
    By 2050 the planned world-population, of 11 billion people
    (now it is 7 billion;
    when David Attenborough was born it was 2 billion)
    will be needing Three (3) Earths-worth of renewable and non-renewable resources;

    so by 2027 there being (already) two-and-a-half Earths needed, but we’ll have, in fact-on-the-ground, far less than even one Earths worth of resources left;

    there most probably
    ain’t gonna be no Olympic –
    nor any other sort of –

  3. Gareth Howell
    09/08/2012 at 7:23 am

    A hajib would not have stopped Christine Ohorougu from having big eyes when she won the gold in Beijing!!!

    Isn’t it the burqha which is so objectionable to western opinion?

    The problem with gender differentiation, and even caste, in these islands is that it is so hard to put a finger on how exactly people do ‘prejudge’ others on the basis of sex and class and many other things besides.

    I find the veil very attractive and in some climates especially central Africa,the back yard of the Arab world, a very useful thing to wear.

    Arab women who take holidays in this country, and many do, abandon their veils on the basis of climate alone.

    At harvest time in this country, as now, I rather wish I had something similar, but I make do with cycling spectacles and a handkerchief round my nose, which people don’t seem to mind!

    And at haymaking too!

    How about giving all Arabs anti-histamine pills instead? More profit for the pharmas!
    You’ld have no objection to that would you?

    Then they would be done for drug abuse and banned!!!

    • maude elwes
      09/08/2012 at 1:33 pm

      The enforced scarf, or head and face cover, and the wearing of absurd clothing is open subjugation. It is an insult to all women. And especailly to Western women. And this in an event which began as a showcase for the beautiful human form.

      No one should be allowed to enter a Western event wearing any of these symbols. As they are a mark of enforced domination. Would they be allowed to enter if they were wearing the swastika? And in essence, that is what this horror represents.

      The implication of this cover up is, that women, as natural human beings are to be abhored in their raw state. They are something that lures the male into deadly sin if they are exposed, even in the smallest way. It upholds all that Western women have fought against for hundreds of years.

      In extreme cases this can lead to the rape of woman as children and as adults? This crude tolerance makes it acceptable. How is that? It is because it confirms women are to blame for male indiscretion if they do not keep themselves fully covered.

      If they are raped or ill treated as a result of showing a part of their body or their hair, it is because their bodies deserve such treatment when those bodies are wantonly exposed to God fearing men. Which, if they do not, is why they must be shunned or murdered should they deviate from this principle. The shame of such exposure for their men is too much to handle, is why.

      Don’t you realise that by allowing this insult to run in our faces, you are openly condoning the abuse. And then to praise the abuse and explain it as the way to bring Western acceptance of female form into a new way of thinking.

  4. Lord Blagger
    09/08/2012 at 8:49 am

    I feel conned. I bought tickets for the women’s beach volley ball. That was the good news.

    Imagine my disappointment when it was Saudi versus Iran

  5. MilesJSD
    09/08/2012 at 8:07 pm

    I bet there are many women’s faces
    (on top of countless male “Counts-0f-Monte-Crispo” mugshots)
    going about in public, sitting behind official and privately-profitable desks, teaching the young, and lolling in “parliaments”

    looking like “iron-masks”

    (and thus like Iron-Ladies Not For Turning in this “British Games” case).

    IF i were a woman I’d need as protection against both Evil Eyes and Evil “Tax-Collectors”
    (that’s “need”, not “want”, my Noble Lords and Ladies)
    much more than identity-nulling “masks”, “robes”, and mere “make-up”

    and need such for my babies, too;

    (God Blees ‘Em All)
    There certainly are times and places, internationally
    (qua also “united-nationally”)
    where a Dress-Law should be enforced, not just for collective-security and identification purposes,
    but for collective and personal life-dignity reasons.

  6. Gareth Howell
    10/08/2012 at 12:05 pm

    I feel conned. I bought tickets for the women’s beach volley ball. news.
    Saudi versus Iran


    In the days in these islands when as many diseases were endemic as there are in the Arab world today, as many women as possibly could, wore the veil for protection from infection and contagion.

    Mrs Elwes rant has sweet fanny adams to do with it.

    Arab men wear headscarves whever they can for protection in exactly the same way as the women, and they are not being raped by the women are they?

    May I say a short prayer? Jesus Christ almighty!

    • MilesJSD
      11/08/2012 at 8:51 am

      Look you (please)
      There are ‘Games’ and “Games”,
      and ‘Pseudo-Games’;

      there are Religions*, and Counter-Religions,
      and Pseudo-Religions :-
      (not in the sense of what God created, innately, in each human-being, direct, unaided by Religion; which according to a Quakers pamphlet is more properly understood as “Spiritualism” i.e. “the (each) individual human’s direct link with God and vice versa”]
      but in the sense of Closed-Top-Down-‘Oligarchical’ Dogmatisation and Theologisation.
      Thus ‘Religion’ is the Will of the Human-Majority-in-Power;

      ‘Spiritism’ or –Spiritualism’ is the Will of God direct; direct that is with each individual human being, and “regardless of Religious-, and of Individual-, alternative preference(s) or ‘expediences’ “:

      (and the reader might need to check what God creates directly into each human-being, by reference to such works as
      “Anatomy of the Spirit” (Caroline Myss)
      “Lifestreams” (David Boadella) ].
      GH has quoted an oft-utilised secular ‘prayer’;

      Just as did certain historically-anonymous Monks after they had created a new Tonic Wine,
      for use by ‘the Faithful’
      but needing both their Archbishop’s naming and blessing.

      The Archbishop duly invited and accepted,
      small glasses were filled and raised, with accompanying bated breath, to the primate’s radiantly smiling face
      as he in turn raised his glass to The Heavens and then
      quickly downed it ‘in one’.

      “Jesus Christ ! ” he blurted out,
      (as what in fact was more fire-water than ‘tonic-wine’
      exploded on his taste-buds and burned him all the way down his oesophagus
      whilst he himself diplomatically
      – or perhaps self-savingly –
      mumbled “Bless you my sons bless you
      (Cough! Cough!).

      And thus it came that a surviving bottle of the very same vintage is claimed to be still exstant and safely cellared,
      ‘somewhere in Christendom’,
      complete with original labelling
      “Jesus Christ Tonic Wine”,
      to this very time.
      My seriously cognitive and participatorily-political ‘point’ being a triune one,
      taken directly from the threefold principles of Good Communication and Honest-Argumentation
      1) Be clear (in what you are reasoning; but be clear about whatever you are not ‘reasoning’);
      2) Be ‘charitable’ (by openly recognising any good intention in any other contributor’s submission);
      3) Be ‘self-corrigible’ (in openly admitting mis-information, omission-of-vitally-important-factors, or other ‘wrong’ argumentation, certainly when such is pointed out to you;

      such wider foundational-educational works as
      “The Golden Bough” (Sir James George Frazer, new abridgement by Robert Fraser, reissued by OUP 2009);
      “Unlocking The Bible” (David Pawson);
      “Your Body Never Lies” (Michio Kushi)
      “The New Rules of Posture” (Mary Bond)

      will prove immediately invaluable to you and to all who become lucky enough to share with you the “gold medal” mind you will thus and thenceforth be co-building.

    • maude elwes
      11/08/2012 at 11:13 am

      @Gareth Howell:

      As usual you completely miss the point.

      However, your remark is quite disgraceful in this respect. We have just had ‘one’ lone conviction in respect of a young British girl being put to death, in the most horrendous way, by her parents, for wearing a T.Shirt. And her siblings, who had to witness the killing in their home will suffer for the rest of their life as a result. Her brother was said to have remarked, ‘she deserved it.’

      The outcome of this court case should have seen that as well as a prison sentence the entire extended family should have had their passports removed and face deportation back to a country that they would be happy as part of. Clearly, this way of life is not conducive to their need for social comfort.

      If groups of religious zealots cannot abide by the rules of a Western society they claim they want to adopt as their own, then they have no place being here.

      Having women compete in the Olympic games here or Europe and tolerating the abuse is hypocracy.

      Next you will be telling us the men also have their genitals completely mutilated so they are unable to enjoy any sexual contact, or, be raped, as a requirement for reducing disease. If this is something this group of people must adopt, and it appears it must be, as so many of them take it up, then here is not the place for them to settle. Are you suggesting those who are so mutilated should have it exposed and clapped as they show they remain able to run, swim or jump regardless of the abuse. Because this act in respect of the hijab is identical to that absurd behaviour.

      This is not acceptable under any circumstances, and to pretend it is forces us into a position of collusion. When you accept that women are not equals in society you promote the events of subjugation you claim to abhor.

      It must be banned throughout the Western world if we are to be accepted as equals. And you know the disgusting attitude here wouldn’t be tolerated if these women were our favourite pets.

      • Gareth Howell
        16/08/2012 at 2:15 pm

        the wearing of absurd clothing is open subjugation. It is an insult to all women. And especailly to Western women.
        Generally in the more northerly latitudes.

        As usual you completely miss the point
        I never do.

        We have just had ‘one’ lone conviction in respect of a young British girl being put to death, in the most horrendous way, by her parents, for wearing a T.Shirt.

        So one lone conviction justifies nobody wearing headscarves because Maud thinks it is a disgrace?

        groups of religious zealots cannot abide by the rules of a Western society they claim they want to adopt as their own, then they have no place being here.

        The word zealot is an interesting one there.
        Zeal… enthusiasm. I have no right per se, to object to religious enthusiasm of any sort.

        Maude obviously does. I can avoid religious nutters, and there are vast numbers about, but unless they commit any other offence, like a breach of the peace, there is absolutely nothing I can do.

        Maud is different, and she breaches my own rights in saying so.

        • maude elwes
          17/08/2012 at 6:25 am


          Taking parts of my post out of context to make it appear off beam is a trick so often used to belittle the writer or message sent it has become old hat. Try another tact. And whilst you are at it, remember that no matter how you try to hide the facts, this will grow as an issue whether you like it or not. Because, as it grows, it is going to affect society to such an extent denial will be impossible.

          I notice how you cling desperately to one single aspect of the enforced covering whilst ignoring the fundamental and disturbing message projected by it to the male gender.

          And what are you going to use as a denial that such a requirement of girls and women leads to a notion that those who do not adhere to this subjugation deserve to be abused?

          Lets take that one step further, what will you use to ignore that fact that along with the acceptance of open female subjugation comes the notion that ‘voodoo’ is also a cultural trait we should embrace. And with that acceptance the dismemberment of mainly children for a sacrifice in order to rid an element of bad luck.

          And yes it is exactly the same principle. The covering of the female as a form of subjugation is then exacerbated into acceptance that they need a good whipping if they reject the covering and if that doesn’t work, then the only answer is death. By the most horrendous means. Burying alive, stoning and in house suffocation as a threat to others in the family should they contemplate joining their Western heritage akin to the culprit.

          The voodoo thinking goes the same way. Beat them for being a witch and if that doesn’t remove the evil spirit then death and dismemberment is the answer.

          The choice of victim is, women for the covering and consequent subjugation and children for their evil spirits. And you want to force the idea that these practices are acceptable in a Western society. On top of which you decide the rest of the population must be subjected to it because you have found you can embrace it, whilst at the same time not giving any the opportunity the vote on the issue, one way or the other. Well, psychotics embrace many notions that are abhorrent to the majority, doesn’t make it okay does it?

          Whoever the Minister was who raised this issue should be commended for his bravery. To do so in such a horrendously deviant society takes a lot of pluck.

    • maude elwes
      12/08/2012 at 7:32 am

      As an addition to my post on this matter yesterday, here is a piece making an effort to touch the reality of this grotesque practice governement has allowed to take hold in our country.

      How is it matter of this nature don’t appear to affect boys or men? Now I wonder why that is?

  7. johnanon
    11/08/2012 at 2:27 pm

    Sorry, I think this patroninsing stunt stinks. What happened to the ‘Eddie the Eagle’ rules designed to stop people making a mockery of the olympics? This woman’s personal best is 15 seconds behind the first world record for the women’s 800m set in the early 1920s and about 30 seconds (half a lap) behind the ‘B’ qualifying time. Ironically, the only reason she could participate was because, surprise suprise, her country has no qualifiers. She’s not even a middle distance runner from what I read; she sticks to long distance running in training. Letting her make a spectacle of herself to catch the ‘ahhh’ response and kid people that the Saudis are starting to take women’s rights seriously is a negative move in my opinion.

    • maude elwes
      14/08/2012 at 12:02 pm

      Where have all the loud, belittling, male voices gone? A reality check cut out your tongue did it?

      Well, here is another read you may like to ingest. And then tell me we should indeed fill our, so called civilized country, with practices so horrific they were unheard of before.

      The politicians who feel this ‘multiculturalism’ would be good for the British people should be forced to leave us to go, with their entire family, and live within the cultures they forced on the rest of us. As they remove their own from this debacle into facilities, too expensive for the majority of the British people to enjoy.

  8. Lord Soley
    Lord Soley
    14/08/2012 at 1:46 pm

    Maude. I have edited some of your comments. I think you must distinguish between the behaviour of specific individuals and that of a whole community.
    The vast majority of people from Islamic countries are also appalled by the behaviour of those who groomed vulnerable woman or murdered because their daughter would not accept their values.
    It is always useful to remind yourself that people from all societies carry out brutal acts and you are quite right to emphasise the vulnerability of woman to male abuse but it crosses cultures. The reason I refer to the suffragettes is because you would be equally appalled by their treatment – forced feeding in prison for example. I am sure you are also proud of the way they fought for equality. I think there are a growing number of woman in the Islamic world fighting for their rights – and I think they will win. So why not support them. They must choose the tactics.

    • Lord Blagger
      14/08/2012 at 3:12 pm

      And no doubt you will attack bankers. Substitute the word banker for Jew and lots of politicians reveal their true colours.

      However, when it comes to attacking politicians for the mess, such as the 7 trillion debts they won’t talk about its different.

      You bear collective responsibility because you made the decisions.

      As Maude points out, we were never asked.

    • maude elwes
      21/08/2012 at 6:28 pm

      Maybe you would like to listen, then, to this woman whom you must feel has more authority to dispute the practices British women have to endure daily from the outside, whilst they carry the fear with them on the inside…. In other words, we must keep our mouths’ shut regardless of how it affects us.–haunted-eyes-girls-raised-HERE-Nadira-Naipaul-exposes-arranged-marriages-honour-killings-UK.html

  9. maude elwes
    14/08/2012 at 1:57 pm

    @Lord Soley:

    What a whitewash. And you didn’t edit some of my post, you removed it, because you don’t want to address the situation government has imposed on us, without our consent.

    Multiculturalism was forced on this country by the Blair/Brown government and you are not happy at havng the horror of what that decision created in our midst. Additionally, you dont want it opened up to scrutiny.

  10. Lord Soley
    Lord Soley
    14/08/2012 at 9:25 pm

    Lord Blagger. You can change your profession and you can change your behavioural attitudes but you can’t change your ethnicity. That is why we make racism an offence.
    Maude. You can criticise an immigration policy and you can discuss different attitudes and values arising out of cultural differences which is what you do at your best. At your worst you attribute appalling behaviour to a whole community. Remember the Nazi’s who you rightly criticise complained of Jewish ‘greed’ and other alleged attitudes and therefore justified eliminating them. Beware!

    • maude elwes
      15/08/2012 at 9:28 am

      @Lord Soley:

      First of all ‘race’ has nothing whatsoever to do with anything I have written on this matter or any other. And why would you pretend it is? As it appears to me, politicians are fixated on race to the exclusion of all else, in order to silence those who want to protest against enforced changes brought into our society by their ‘un-mandated’ policies.

      Secondly, the actions of peoples and what they do, are the at core of this matter, not their ‘race.’ FGM hase nothing whatsoever to do with ‘race’ and neither does raising it for discussion, supporting or not. This also covers the wearing of clothing of subjugation. It is associated with groups who want to live in a society which professes equality of peoples. And the wearing of such symbols is proclaimed openly as a requirement of a chosen ‘God’ which is aimed at a certain group called ‘women,’ thereby removing their right to equality in Western society. Which has brought it to the point where girls and women are murdered in that society should they show a desire to be part of the culture they were born into or live. And this is what you will not address, instead you grab the race card in order to quieten the fear created and the objections raised. Women are, like men, of all races. And I am a woman and I object very strongly to you pretending this resistance to my protest is because it is to do with race.

      So, what is it to do with? It is to do with our government openly condoning abuse against the female in society, whilst pretending that by so doing, it will improve the situation of all women affected and their daughters within Western society. When quite clearly this attitude has exacerbated this situation and creates an atmosphere that is spreading the abuse into the host culture. Children and girls selected for rape and abuse because of their cultural dress and manner in a society where that dress and manner is the status quo.

      The Franch and Belgian people have, at last, begun to address this anomoly in society and at very least, haven’t tried to pull the race card on their citizens when it is raised for discussion.

      To refer to me as having racist traits or leanings is absurd. Just as Gordon Brown was absurd when he suggested a woman who tried to bring similar issues to his notice was referred to as a bigot.

      This is a game politicians play in order to stiffle dissent by those in society who have had to bear the brunt of policies which have created a split in a once cohesive society.

  11. Lord Blagger
    15/08/2012 at 9:30 am

    Lord Blagger. You can change your profession and you can change your behavioural attitudes but you can’t change your ethnicity. That is why we make racism an offence.


    Nice wriggle. Doesn’t work.

    I seem to remember you attacking bankers. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Now bankers are a group. You’ve attacked the group for the behaviour of a few. Just the sort of hypocritical behaviour we’ve come to expect of politicians.

    The same happened in Nazi Germany. Jews were targeted.

    Politicians who do the same with ‘bankers’ or any other group such as race, are revealing their true intentions.

    Quite rightly you point out its behaviour that matters.

    So when it comes to politicians running up 7,000 bn of debts, and hiding those debts so people don’t realise what is going on, that’s behaviour.

    You’re responsible for running up those debts, and hiding the numbers. That’s your behaviour.

  12. Twm O'r Nant
    15/08/2012 at 11:33 am

    Here is a little something for Maud to start her study of the human race, possibly instead of reading the daily papers, again and again.

    There are two main strands of anthropological thought, and like all thought of such a nature is polarised between left and right.

    Social anthropologists believe there is no such thing as “race”, amongst whom I am privileged to include myself.

    Anthropologists, on the other side of the divide, believe that race is crucial to our understanding of modern man.

    The concept of Homo Sapiens sapientia, which is a new classification,is fairly crucial to modern discussion on the subject, and internet research on the subject is rewarded by using that term.

    There are various methods of assessing the hierarchy of knowledge of the subject, and she would do well to study them carefully.

  13. maude elwes
    15/08/2012 at 8:00 pm


    Now I suggest you, likewise, may want to leave behind wiki as a start off for human genetics and of the significance of same. It is a complicated subject and you will find studies coming out of your ears with differing scientific analysis.

    However, the most interesting, and the one less likely to be in fashion is, the studies that tell us the genome is a map of not only inherited physical traits but of our inherited social patterns.

    You see, mankind is programmed, via their biological make up, not only to appear to be of a certain human connection because of appearance, but, also because of the social gene passed via their clan. Which is why husbandry works so well when breeding mammals.

    Not a popular science presently but nonetheless enlightening.

    And please lay off the papers jab, that is old hat and you are not too smart if you cannot follow a need for the simple.

    Get stuck into this, it may broaden your horizons and promote further investigation by you.

    And another. This should get you thinking seriously.

  14. Lord Soley
    Lord Soley
    15/08/2012 at 9:51 pm

    Lord Blagger. Just because you want to believe something it doesn’t make it true!This is what I said about bankers – it should appeal to you!

    Entry made in October 2011:

    “It is fashionable after the expenses scandal to bash MP’s. It is also fashionable to bash bankers. It is also fashionable to bash journalists following the hacking scandal.

    Think about this. Our democratic society needs cement to hold it together. Part of that has been our commitment to democracy and the rule of law. Part of it has been a free press. Part of it has been stable banks and finance. All of them have been trashed recently and with good reason. BUT if we carry that too far we put our freedoms at risk. The dictator always puts democrats and journalists in prison or up against the wall before any other groups.”

  15. Lord Blagger
    15/08/2012 at 11:11 pm

    You still don’t get it.

    I’m bashing you as a group because as a group you have dictated to us. Remember we don’t get a vote on any decision.

    Now I notice you’ve left yourself off the blame list. You’re just blaming the journalists, the MPs who fiddled expenses etc.

    What about government debts? You ran them up by your spending decisions. Why are you hiding the extent of government debts off the books? You took the decisions. You are to blame.

    At some point it will be declared fraud. Are you prepared to go to jail for your decisions?

    If you don’t believe me, you can prove me wrong. Tell us how much the government owes for the state pension. Just past accruals, not future accruals, and where it is the government accounts.

    If you can’t show that, they its very simple. I’m telling the truth. You aren’t.

  16. MilesJSD
    16/08/2012 at 1:49 am

    I’m not feeling at all “freed”

    1) by having to be cemented and concreted-together, in one monstrously great-british stiflingly straitjacketed LUMP
    with all of my neighbours
    and with the whole of ‘British Society’;

    2) by such a simple ignorance as having to understand “racism” as being the politically, socially, and inter-nationally correct term for racialism.

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