According to an Opinion piece written by Shohreh herself and published by The Washington Post in February 2020, she defected from Iran and found asylum in Britain.
*Being the Chief Arbiter at the 2020 Women’s World Chess Championship match is comparable to being the head referee at the NFL’s Super Bowl in the USA!
After some time in Great Britain, Shohreh embraced her family’s Jewish heritage that had been repressed her entire life in Iran.
“It was wonderful. It was something I never had an opportunity to do,” said Ms. Bayat from her temporary home outside London, describing her excitement as she sat for the Rosh Hashanah dinner of apple, honey and challah.
In Shanghai, China, at the beginning of Round 3 of the 2020 Women’s World Chess Championship, Shohreh was photographed leaning over the chess table, where she appeared not to be wearing a hijab.
“The accusation was that I deliberately had no head covering in order to protest against the hijab,” Shohreh wrote in an email. “I was shocked and panicked.”
“I believe people must be free to choose what they want to wear,” Shohreh said in the email. “I have never worn the hijab out of choice.”
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