DOHA, Qatar (AP) — When Salim Al-Nabit and his friends went to see beach volleyball for the first time, they left their wives home.

Al-Nabit said he would watch the bikini-clad women, but he certainly wouldn’t want his wife to do so. He was there, he added, because it was a matter of national honor.

“We don’t see this a lot in Qatar,” Al-Nabit said. “I think most people think it is outrageous. But we accept it because it is important for our country. We want others to see us as a generous and hospitable people, willing to accept their ways, even if we don’t agree.”

Beach volleyball’s penchant for bikinis has touched off a bit of a cultural clash in this conservative Muslim city, which by hosting the Asian Games, a regional sports extravaganza, is trying to bolster its bid to bring the 2016 Summer Olympics to the Middle East.

The city has transformed itself in an effort to woo the Olympics. It has spent billions on infrastructure and sparkling new sports facilities, including the 50,000-seat “Aspire” stadium.

Doha organizers brought in 80 truckloads of sand from dunes in the desert outside the city to create the proper beach setting for the volleyball competition. They then even had the sand tested by a Canadian contractor to make sure it was just right.

But some things are just too much to ask.

Beach volleyball bikinis shake up Asian Games in Qatar – CNN.com

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