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Iranian chess champion Sarah Kadem 'isn't herself' with a veil


The 17th player in the world, international master and born in Tehran in 1997, declared to the Spanish newspaper El Pais that she “will no longer wear the veil”.

Iranian chess champion Sara Khadem (or Khademalsharieh), exiled to Spain after participating in an international tournament without a hijab, explained that she was “

not herself

” when she wore the veil.

She is well known on the French professional circuit since she played for the very strong club of Clichy, which is vice-champion of Europe 2022 by teams.

In December, the 25-year-old international master appeared without a headscarf at the International Chess Federation (FIDE) World Rapid Chess Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

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The move was then seen by some as a sign of support for protests that have been taking place across Iran since the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini, arrested for an alleged violation of the country's strict dress code for women.

In early January, Sara Khadem moved to Spain with her husband, director Ardeshir Ahmadi, and their 10-month-old son, Sam.

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In an interview published Sunday in the daily

El Pais

, Sara Khadem explains that before the Almaty tournament, she would only wear the hijab "

if there were cameras, because I represented Iran


But with the veil, I am not myself, I do not feel well, so I wanted to put an end to this situation.

And I decided not to wear it anymore

, ”adds the chess player in her first public statement since moving to Spain.

The daily specifies that the interview took place in "

a secret place for security reasons


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Iranian women are expected to adhere to the dress code of the Islamic republic, mainly by covering their heads, when representing their country at international events.

Sara Khadem also says she hopes her relatives in Iran will "

not suffer reprisals because if anyone has to give an explanation for my actions, it's me, not them, because this decision was solely mine


She explains that she considered leaving her country after the birth of her child.

I started thinking about living somewhere where Sam could go out on the streets and play without worrying about things like that.

Spain appeared to be the best option


Sara Khadem adds that she would like to continue representing Iran in chess tournaments and now plans to present chess programs online.

I had the idea for it several years ago, but I didn't want to do it from Iran with the veil

,” she confessed.

A winning game by Sara Khadem against China's Lu Miaoyi at the 2022 World Blitz and Rapids Championships

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-22

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