Monday, August 20, 2012

habiba ghribi, olympic first.

habiba ghribi is a woman. a tunisian. a runner.
& the first tunisian woman ever to win an olympic medal.

28yo ghribi won silver in the women's 3,000m steeplechase [obstacle race],
behind world champion yuliya zaripova of russia.

"this medal is for all the tunisian people,
for tunisian women, for the new tunisia," ghribi said.

but while tunisia may be "new," it's not necessarily improved.

the north-african country underwent a revolution in late 2010/early 2011,
leading to a thorough democratization of the nation & free, democratic elections.
but the winner was the islamist ennahda movement.
& though ennahda assumed power with a pledge of not weakening women's rights, party leaders have proposed a constitution which states
women are "complementary" — not equal — to men, in the family & in the country.

within this environment of diminishing equality among the sexes,
conservative muslims felt free to express their disgust & outrage at
ghribi's olympic performance, in which she ran "in her underpants" —
a reference to ghribi's standard-length running shorts.

luckily, some important tunisians support ghribi.
during a recent radio debate with a member of ennahda,
independent al aridha party member ibrahim kassas joked,
"the underpants of habiba ghribi have honored us.
what have [ennahda members'] underpants done for us?"

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