'I felt more welcome in the Bible belt'
Manal Omar had used her five-piece 'Islamic-style' swimsuit for years - in Rio, Washington and Kuala Lumpur - and it had never brought her more than a curious glance. Then she went for a dip in Oxford ...
One Sunday last month I went for my afternoon swim at my local David Lloyd's fitness club wearing the Islamic-style swimsuit I have been wearing for years. The swimsuit has recently been celebrated by media outlets from Newsweek to National Geographic as an innovative way for Muslim women to become more active. As an American-Muslim woman, I have always been determined to be active without compromising my faith. I have been swimming in capital cities across the world from Rio de Janeiro to Washington DC to Kuala Lumpur, and now London. Although I get curious stares, I have never had any awkward moments when I head out for a swim.