Iranian chess players Sara Khadem. (screenshot) screenshot
Iranian chess players Sara Khadem


An Iranian woman named Sara Khadem defied the mullahs by competing at the World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships in Kazakhstan without wearing the headscarf demanded by Iran’s dress codes.

By United with Israel Staff

Since 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini died during confinement by Iran’s morality police in September 2022, Iran has been rocked by massive popular demonstrations protesting the Islamic Republic’s violent and oppressive rule.

In addition to menacing the region with terror proxies such as Hezbolllah in Lebanon, Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Israel, and the Houthis in Yemen, the Iranian regime brutalizes its own population, murdering in cold blood protesters and sentencing other dissidents to death.

In response, certain high-profile Iranians competing abroad have defied the regime by staging protests on the world stage to communicate the widespread push for real change in Iran.

Among these protesters is a brave young chess master named Sara Khadem, who recently competed at the FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships in Kazakhstan without wearing the headscarf (hijab) demanded by Iran’s dress codes.

Photos posted by two Iranian news outlets on Monday, Khabarvarzeshi and Etemad, show Khadem competing with no hijab.

Khadem did not publicly comment on the photos or respond to queries from the media.

Born in 1997, Khadem is also known as “Sarasadat Khademalsharieh,” Reuters reported. She is currently ranked 804 in the world by the International Chess Federation.

Khadem is the latest female competitor from Iran to take this step in solidarity with anti-regime protests. In October, Iranian sport climber Elnaz Rekabi competed abroad with her hair uncovered. This led to her family’s home being demolished.

At the World Cup this winter, the Iranian soccer team also refused to sing the national anthem.

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