Iranian chess player who contested without headscarf gets Spanish citizenship

Iranian chess player who contested without headscarf gets Spanish citizenship

Sara Khadem was one of many female athletes who chose not to wear a headscarf during international tournaments when Iran was rocked by protests after the death of Mahsa Amini

Sara Khadem was one of many female athletes who chose not to wear a headscarf during international tournaments when Iran was rocked by protests after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini

The 26-year-old Sara Khadem, also known as Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, made headlines around the world when she participated in the FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Chess championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, without a mandatory headscarf on December 28.

“With the veil I am not myself,” Khadem told El Pais after moving to Spain. “I don’t feel well, and therefore I wanted to put an end to that situation. And I decided not to wear it any more.”

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On January 25, she met Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, and played a game of chess with him.

As per a report by Reuters, Spain’s Official Gazette said the Council of Ministers agreed on Tuesday, July 25, to grant citizenship to Khadim “taking into account the special circumstances” of her case.

She was one of many female athletes who chose not to wear a headscarf during international tournaments at a time when Iran was rocked by protests after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on September 16, 2022.

Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the morality police in Tehran on charges of violating the country’s strict dress code for women.

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