Casablanca - A picture of Egyptian beach volleyball player Doaa El Ghobashy competing in a Hijab has recently gone viral in social media, causing some dissenting remarks.
Casablanca – A picture of Egyptian beach volleyball player Doaa El Ghobashy competing in a Hijab has recently gone viral in social media, causing some dissenting remarks.
Soon after the volleyball game between Egypt and Germany ended with a 2-0 win for Germany, reactions surrounding El Ghobashy’s hijab have swept the Internet.
For some, the picture of the Hijabi Egyptian player competing with a German player wearing a two-piece Bikini symbolizes “cultural clash.” By contrast, others have considered the Copacabana beach game as an event that brought together people from different cultures.
UK’s right-win tabloid, the Daily Mail, for instance, dubbed the match a “Massive Cultural Divide between the Western and Islamic Women’s Teams” without clearly detailing the reason behind such a claim.
The comments section under the Daily Mail article is itself a “massive divide” between those who saw the Hijab as an unsolicited deviation and others who thought of the outfit as an irrelevant detail.
An advocate of the first viewpoint said the following in his comment: “East meets West. The German women look beautifully athletic and free in contrast.” Another commenter said, “We came to this world naked, who wore clothes from birth? Nobody!!” On the other hand, one commenter stated, “Daily Mail is quick to point out differences, but not similarities. They’re both human and that’s the only thing that matters.” Another commenter from the state of California said, “Olympics is about sports, why judge their dressing?”
In alignment with this last remark, the Australian Sports Commission has previously expressed concerns that the International Volley Federation has “introduced uniforms intentionally to focus attention on the athletes’ bodies rather than for any technological, practical or performance-enhancing reasons.”
However, the reform introduced by the federation in 2012 no longer mandates the bikini. “Many of these countries have religious and cultural requirements, so the uniform needed to be more flexible,” said International Volleyball Federation spokesman Richard Baker to The Associated Press in March 2012.
The flexibility in the outfit requirement has served the ultimate goal of the Olympics, which is to bring together representatives of more cultures, faiths and ethnicities. Richard Baker noted that this year’s qualifying process engaged an additional 26 countries compared to the London Olympics.
As for the person concerned, Doaa El Ghobashy said the following in an interview with the Telegraph: “I have worn the hijab for 10 years. It doesn’t keep me away from the things I love to do, and beach volleyball is one of them. I’m proud to be seen raising the Egyptian flag in a carnival with so many nations.”