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Iraq rejoins Miss Universe pageant after 45 years


Last night's Miss Universe competition in Las Vegas is widely regarded as a milestone with numerous countries making a comeback after a significant number of years, including the conflict-stricken country of Iraq. Like most global beauty pageants, the prestigious event involves women from all over the world competing through swimsuits, evening gowns, and a highly-anticipated Q&A portion.

Sarah Idan, who was born in Baghdad, had a bulk to say in her featured video at the competition yesterday. She was exposed to war as a child and worked for the American army in the early 2000s with the hopes of keeping her country safe. Through the pageant, Idan wants to "represent Christians, Jews, and Kurdish" and generate peace in the world by promoting equality.

Unfortunately, her Miss Universe journey had a rocky start with Muslim netizens violently reacting towards her selfie on Instagram with Miss Israel, whose country is currently in conflict with Iraq. Idan also failed to reach the peaks of the competition, with her name not getting called in the Top 16.

Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel ???????????? #missuniverse

A post shared by Sarah Idan (Sarai) ???? ????? (@sarahidan) on

Regardless, Idan received many positive messages from viewers from all over the world regarding her advocacy and making a mark in the Iraqi beauty pageantry.

Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere crowned her successor Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters from South Africa. The runner-ups were Miss Jamaica and Miss Colombia.

By: Franz Tabora

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