An article based on an interview when I was at the World Weightlifting Championships 2011.  Similar article in english here.

Mohammad Reza Akhoundi and wife Sara Alambeigi (he took some pictures which he gave me, you will see in the album. She interviewed me. She and he also helped translate my english into farsi, and the questions I received from other reporters from Farsi into English.  Below is a copy of the article.

Pakistani Muslim weightlifter: Hijab does not limit Muslim women

Service: Sport
News Code :9008-16521

ISNA – Tehran 
Service: Sport

TEHRAN (ISNA)-Hijab is not a limitation for Muslim women, said Kulsoom Abdullah, the first Muslim weightlifter who attends competitions as a covered female.

The Pakistani woman who attended World Weightlifting Championships in Paris and has been living in Atlanta US used to practice taekwondo, but then she chose to practice weightlifting after receiving her PhD.

“I am very happy that I could take part in the competitions with head scarf and veil. I never thought I could attend the competitions. I never was a paradigm, but I am happy now that I am regarded as a paradigm and the first woman who attended the competitions. I hope more Muslim women could join international competitions,” she told ISNA.

Also regarding the possibility of her membership in the US national weightlifting team, she said, “I took part in the US national competitions, but I failed to become a member of the national team. Membership in the team needs receiving good results from national races. Another reason was my age. I could progress more if I was younger. Although I will do my best and I may join the team in the future.”

Kulsoom Abdullah has become the first woman to compete in the US weightlifting championships while wearing clothing that covers her legs, arms and head.

Kulsoom was cleared to compete in accordance with her Muslim faith after the International Weightlifting Federation ruled that athletes could wear a full-body unitard under the customary weightlifting uniform.

Thirty five year old Kulsoom, born in the US to Pakistani parents, competed in the women’s senior weightlifting division, in the 48kg and 53kg weight classes.

She finished fifth out of six competitors in her weight class after clearing a snatch of 41 kilograms and 57 kilograms in the clean and jerk.

End Item

News Code: 9008-16521