Never be without remembrance of Him For His remembrance gives strength and wings To the bird of the Spirit.

~ Rumi

State Department Eid ul Fitr reception Sept. 13, 2012, travel & the American Open 2012

Posted by on Sep 10, 2012 in Blog, News & Updates | Comments Off on State Department Eid ul Fitr reception Sept. 13, 2012, travel & the American Open 2012

Invitation to the State Department Eid ul Fitr reception Sept. 13, 2012

Article in The Friday Times (Pakistan newspaper)

MPA Event in Houston, Texas, Thursday, September 20, 2012

American Open Weightlifting Championships 2012

 

State Department Eid ul Fitr reception Sept. 13, 2012, Thursday evening:

I have been invited a second time to the Eid ul Fitr reception hosted by the The Secretary of State at the Department of State in Washington D.C.. Last year was the first time I was invited and I had the honor of being one of the speakers. After consulting with friends and family, I knew I had to go again this year. This time, I get to crash with my sister Shabana, who now lives in the area and works at BLH Technologies, Inc. We are planning to take Amani and Zalan (my niece and nephew) to the National Zoo. Hopefully other places if we have time, and for food, a place I have been told that is great and serves grass-fed zabihah/halal burgers:

Elevation Burgers

DROOL!

In my usual manner, I will take a lot of pictures and some video during the trip, then share them on the website and my Facebook page.

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How Ramadan 2012 went & Eid Mubarak!

Posted by on Aug 19, 2012 in Blog, News & Updates | Comments Off on How Ramadan 2012 went & Eid Mubarak!

In Atlanta, Georgia (and other places) Eid ul Fitr is tomorrow, Sunday, August 19th, 2012. Today is the last day of Ramadan & fasting. For Eid tomorrow, we will attend the Eid salat (prayers) at the masjid and go out to eat 🙂

I wish everyone a blessed Eid Mubarak/Kareem! Please remember and pray for those who are suffering this Eid, here and in other parts of the world.

This month I was able to get some down time, not completely as it seems I always find something to do or feel the need to work on something as you can see by the contents of this blog post below:

My Academic Research

News, Press & Blogs

Saudi Women at the Olympics

My Interviews and mentions this Ramadan

My Facebook Page

Training & Coaching updates

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Saudi woman might not compete in the Olympics, my Ramadan progress & more

Posted by on Jul 30, 2012 in Blog, News & Updates | Comments Off on Saudi woman might not compete in the Olympics, my Ramadan progress & more

Saudi woman might not compete in the Olympics, my Ramadan progress & more

Table of Contents

Saudi Women and Olympic Participation

My Ramadan & Training Progress

My diet

Future competitions?

BBC documentary appearance- Girl Power: Going for Gold

Strong! Atlanta Premiere Pictures

Saudi Women and Olympic Participation

Sarah Attar an 800 meter runner and Wojdan Shaherkani in Judo, are making history by being the first women to ever represent Saudi Arabia at the Olympics. I was very disappointed when I read that 16-year-old female Judo fighter, Wojdan Shaherkani, who is entered in the +78kg women’s weight class might not be able to compete. The International Judo Federation president Marius Vizer said she could not wear the hijab (headscarf) during competition and is quoted as saying “The athlete from Saudi Arabia will fight in the spirit of judo and according to the principles of judo without a hijab.” They also state safety reasons.

Please read Amna Al Haddad’s write-up on her blog about this issue titled: Hijab and Sports.

There are many female athletes who participate in sports with hijab and businesses are growing that are creating hijabs suitable for athletes. Before I competed in weightlifting, I practiced Taekwondo with hijab. I know females who practice the grappling martial arts, such as Judo, in hijab as well. There is a way to accomodate clothing in which the athlete does not have a competitive advantage over others AND still be safe. Safety was one of the reasons FIFA cited for banning the headscarf, but has recently FIFA lifted the headscarf ban for football.

I REALLY hope Wojdan Shaherkani gets to the mat in London. It has taken so much effort for her to get to this point, to be able to represent Saudi Arabia! As Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, stated during the opening ceremony: “For the first time in Olympic history, all the participating teams will have female athletes. This is a major boost for gender equality.”

I am surprised the Judo Federation had not considered her clothing restrictions beforehand, but there is still hope for them to reconsider their decision and work on agreeing to a head covering for her that will comply with the rules and safety issues. It would be a generous on their part, not only for helping Shaherkani make history, but the spirt of sports and Olympic competition — bringing people from all over the world to the same arena, field, stadium and mat.

 

My Ramadan & Training Progress

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Ramadan 1433AH/2012 Fasting & Diet with Weightlifting & Crossfit

Posted by on Jul 22, 2012 in Blog, News & Updates | Comments Off on Ramadan 1433AH/2012 Fasting & Diet with Weightlifting & Crossfit

Ramadan Embaraksha/Mubarak/Kareem! :] 

2013 Update: I have a Ramadan 2013 blog post linked here

Last year I wrote a piece on Ramadan (fasting), training and diet. It is located here (and at the bottom of this post):

http://www.liftingcovered.com/ramadan-fasting-weightlifting-20111432ah/

I decided to write another post based on what people have been asking me as an addendum but you can refer to the original post for more detail and scientific references.

This year Ramadan is about 2 weeks earlier and hotter than last year.  It also falls during the Olympics and in the midst of turmoil, such as in Syria.  President Obama sent Ramadan Greetings to American Muslims.

I always appreciate the galleries showing Ramadan around the world, such as one here and here.

Table of Contents

Disclaimers
Eating the pre-fast/pre-dawn/peshmanay/suhoor/sehri meal
What to eat after sunset (fast break/iftar), and dinner
When to workout
Crossfit related (Weightlifting & Metcons/Endurance)
Weightlifting!
Fasting in countries with long days (19 or more hours) or the sun does not set or rise:
What I am personally doing this year
My Ramadan post from last year 2011

Disclaimers:  

You need to consider your own health, current fitness level, allergies, and consulting with your medical professional. What I have written is something you can use as a guide or help you make decisions on what you need or want to do for Ramadan.  I encourage you to do your own research as well.  Here are links to some diet theories to look into: paleo, primal, keto, Gary Taubes and Eades’ books.

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No Olympics, going forward, Ramadan/Fasting 2012, CNN & more!

Posted by on Jul 17, 2012 in Blog, News & Updates | Comments Off on No Olympics, going forward, Ramadan/Fasting 2012, CNN & more!

No Olympics, going forward, Ramadan/Fasting 2012, CNN & more!

London 2012 Summer Olympics and my last efforts

Ramadan/Fasting 2012

CNN Interview

new PR (Personal Record) on video

Updates on Amna S. Al Haddad – female Emirati weightlifter

Strong! documentary showing in Atlanta, GA (July 21, 2012) and other cities:

Campaign to change coloring books’ depiction of weightlifters

London 2012 Summer Olympics and my last efforts

Considering the date, we can all conclude that I am definitely not going to the Olympics, representing Pakistan in weightlifting.

I had been training full time and waiting on the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) wildcard slot decisions.  According to the documentation posted on the IWF website, there are a total of 4 female wildcard/invitational slots.

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Column: Time for IOC to stand firm against Saudis – by Paul Newberry

Posted by on Jul 6, 2012 in Blog, News & Updates, Press Coverage | Comments Off on Column: Time for IOC to stand firm against Saudis – by Paul Newberry

I am mentioned & quoted in this article from a phone interview today. Paul Newberry also covered my story last year. Link to the article: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=oly&id=8133556

Regarding the Olympics, as of this post, I still do not know if Pakistan is getting a wild card invitation from the International Weightlifting Federation and IOC for a female invitational slot for weightlifting. Thanks everyone for your support, I appreciate the encouragement. I am still continuing to train as anything can happen or is possible.

Column: Time for IOC to stand firm against Saudis
Updated: July 5, 2012, 6:35 PM ET
Associated Press

“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit …”

Those are the International Olympics Committee’s own words, spelled out at the very beginning of its charter, right after the preamble, under a section known as “Fundamental Principles of Olympism.”

It’s time for the IOC to live up to them.

If Saudi Arabia won’t allow women to compete at the London Games, tell the guys who run the oil-rich kingdom they can keep the rest of their team — the men — at home, too.

No more negotiations. No more sorting out the details. This is a major issue, no less important than a stand taken by the IOC nearly a half-century ago when faced with the issue of apartheid in South Africa.

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Summer Olympics 2012? my summer training, videos, & youthful motivation

Posted by on Jun 19, 2012 in Blog, News & Updates | Comments Off on Summer Olympics 2012? my summer training, videos, & youthful motivation

Summer Olympics 2012? my summer training, videos, & youthful motivation

I wanted to write some updates on how things are going.

Summer Olympics 2012

My Summer Training

Salmah Shaikh & my niece Amani Khan
2012 Asian Weightlifting Championships video compilations

Summer Olympics & Training
First: what I am asked the most about is if I will be participating in the Olympics. I currently do not know if I am competing this summer 2012 in London. I have been training the same way 6 days a week so that I can be prepared in case I get the opportunity to represent Pakistan, if Pakistan receives one of the 4 female invitational/wildcard slots from the International Weightlifting Federation and I am selected to be that female.

My Summer Training
I train in a garage gym with no air conditioning. Atlanta, Georgia USA gets pretty hot, and the weather is humid.  I have to make sure I consistently drink fluids, additionally, it is important to keep body temperature down, so in between sets I sit in front of a fan and hold two ice packs. One I hold under my hijab (headscarf) around my neck, and the other under my scarf on the back of my neck. When I go up to do my lifts, I have to really make sure I get a lot of breathing and oxygen, otherwise, I get dizzy and I do not want to pass out, especially when attempting a maximum attempt. I will write more about fasting and Ramadan this year in my next blog post. If I do get to go to the Olympics, I will again sell Pakistan weightlifting t-shirts for fundraising purposes.

(CLICK READ MORE, to see the rest of this post)

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2012 Asian Weightlifting Championships rest of my trip

Posted by on May 20, 2012 in Blog, News & Updates | Comments Off on 2012 Asian Weightlifting Championships rest of my trip

This post is about the rest of competition and my stay. Below I have an index if you want to go to a particular section in this post. Again, I have inserted some pictures in this post, but the entire album links are also included.

Day 5 – Wednesday – April 25, 2012

Around the hotel and a traditional Korean lunch

62KG men’s A session & dinner

Day 6 – Thursday – April 26, 2012 – Seoul

Day 7 – Friday – April 27, 2012

Day 8 – Saturday – April 28, 2012 – Seoul

Day 9 – Sunday – April 29, 2012

Day 10 – Monday – April 30, 2012

105KG+ men’s A session and closing ceremony

Departure – Tuesday – May 1, 2012 – Back to Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Finally – More on dealing with weirdos, possible psychos and why that should not be a deterrent for women going to competitions

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2012 Asian Weightlifting Championships the day before & competition day (3 & 4)

Posted by on May 20, 2012 in Blog, News & Updates | Comments Off on 2012 Asian Weightlifting Championships the day before & competition day (3 & 4)

2012 Asian Weightlifting Championships the day before & competition day (3 & 4)

The experiences and stories from the day before I competed and the day I competed will be shared in this post (the entire trip is split into multiple posts). I will insert some pictures from my album and a video compilation of my competition and lifting in this post. I met so many people and there are so many stories, but my blog posts are already so long I can only share a fraction.

Here is a link to the full album day 4 (on my website, but also includes the link to the album on my Picasa page):

http://www.liftingcovered.com/2012-asian-weightlifting-championships-day-4-my-competition-day/

For easier reading, I will include index titles and sections, and you can click these anchors to go to the specific place in the post.

Day 3 – Monday – April 23, 2012

My weight class registration, 48 or 53kg?

Day 4 – Tuesday – April 24, 2012 – my competition day

53kg

The line up – Introduction of the Athletes

Competition & Results

Video Compilation

Drug Testing

Training plans for the future

Exploring the City – Pyeongtaek

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2012 Asian Weightlifting Championships Days 1&2

Posted by on Apr 22, 2012 in Blog, News & Updates | 1 comment

First in the news:
USOC lifted the bar for Muslim woman by Philip Hersh at the Chicago Tribune:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/globetrotting/chi-usoc-lifted-the-bar-for-muslim-woman-20120412,0,5770306.column He also wrote 2 other articles last year. here and here

The IWF also has a copy here: http://www.iwf.net/2012/04/16/usoc-lifted-the-bar-for-muslim-woman/

Asian WL Championships Preparations

My schedule has been pretty hectic till I got to sit on the plane (and finally started typing towards this blog post). I generally train 6 days a week. When my shoulder got better, I started adding 2 days of 2 workout sessions for a total of 8 visits to the gym. I have been really focusing on snatch and the split jerk (my weaknesses) trying to be more consistent in technique. Doing a lot of volume work helps to maintain consistency which will lead to being able to get higher weights, as the higher you go and the closer the weight is to body weight, the more precise and fast you need to be in these lifts.

Day by day, I managed my time and had on going to do lists to prepare for Korea and I think this time (and hope) it will be more calm and an easier experience.

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