Miss Bahrain, Miss Arab World 2007 and Stereotypes

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I admit I have missed the news when it was announced end of last July, but better late than never.

Honored to be Bahraini by soul for living in for the last four years, I am very happy to know that Wafaa Ganahi, a 23-year-old teacher from the Law Faculty of University, won the title, while the first runner-up was Miss Shaimaa Mansour and Rula Bahij, 23, was the second runner-up. Out of seventeen women from 15 countries attended the final competition.

On the other hand, what does this contest and these photos tells us other than the general perceptions about such events? Well, for me they mean a lot.

First, let me congratulate Miss Arab World, Miss Bahrain. She deserved it, and this leads me to my first note. As you can see from the attached photos, Miss Bahrain is a veiled lady, which leads to the conclusion that Miss Arab World – as well miss world – does not need to be unveiled to win a beauty contest. At least in beauty standards if you agree with me that veil does not hide beauty. I know that bikini show in such beauty contests is suppose to be a standard event, which probably every male in this universe are looking for :-) but Miss Arab World, and Miss Bahrain broke this rule – if I may consider it as a rule – and won for her beauty, real beauty. Not only that, but she also received official tribute which reflects how open Bahrain is.

Second, I’m not surprised to see some unveiled beauties from the last place one can expect, such as . The girl is gorgeous, but I bet that she is on the ‘top wanted list’ by Saudi religious men now, not for anything related to terrorism, no, but for her unveiled beauty and daring to show up. In my terms, Miss won Miss Arab World for her braveness to participate with all what we know about how she was perceived in her home country. Most probably she lives outside Saudi and her dreams to visit her homeland vanished forever.

Third, I’m really surprised and happy to see beauties from other conservative Arab countries such as Miss Yemen and Miss Sudan. They are setting new standards along with Miss Saudi Arabia and breaking all the stereotypes that we hear day and night by the Western media. Yes, behind the Hijab’s, Niqab’s and Burqa’s we have very pretty ladies and we are not ashamed of showing them, in a modest way. A new generation will always fight the taboos for better life.

Last but not least, as a Palestinian, I’m proud to see Miss participating in this event despite all what Palestinians and the occupied lands are going through day and night by the Israeli terrorist occupation. Unlike Miss Israel, just imagine how many crosscheck she had to pass to reach an Israeli occupied port to be able to travel to Cairo for the event. Even if she lives in Israel, her journey will be under the same rules that govern the travel all Arab and Palestinian from Israel (more humiliating example).

Alright, enough blah blah… back to business, here are some photos I gathered from different sources around the web. In no particular order, take a look at Miss Bahrain, Miss , Miss Saudi Arabia, Miss , Miss , Miss Egypt, Miss , Miss , Miss , Miss , Miss and Miss .

(Click thumbnail to enlarge)

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