Sarah, 27, aims to be Iraq’s jewel with a crown

Sarah Idan, 27, a singer, songwriter and musician from Baghdad, will represent her country at the Miss Universe pageant in the US this month. (Via social media)
Updated 08 November 2017
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Sarah, 27, aims to be Iraq’s jewel with a crown

BAGHDAD: Sarah Idan carries the hopes and dreams of Iraq on her shoulders — and very pretty shoulders they are too.
Sarah, 27, a singer, songwriter and musician from Baghdad, will represent her country at the Miss Universe pageant in the US this month.
“It’s an incredible honor,” she said on social media. “Very grateful and excited.”
Sarah qualified for the contest last week when she was crowned Miss Universe Iraq 2017 at a ceremony in Baghdad — but, Iraq being Iraq, the process was not without incident. Judges found out that the initial winner, Vian Sulaimani, had been married and divorced, which is against the rules.
It is more than 40 years since Iraq had a contestant at the pageant. Wijdan Sulyman took part in Puerto Rico in 1972.
Sarah was born and raised in Baghdad. After the invasion in 2003, she worked with the American-led coalition forces in the city, which gave her the opportunity to travel to the US. Last year she won the Miss Iraq USA title in Michigan.
Many Iraqis welcomed her participation in the pageant. “We need to breathe some air away from the wars and killings,” Mona Jaleel, a government employee, told Arab News. “We are not familiar with these contests and I do not think that our nominee will reach the final stages, but I am so excited to see our girl there.”
Hadiya Enad, a teacher, said: “It’s good to revive such events in Iraq. I am proud to finally see Iraqis participating in this contest. We have such beautiful girls, so they have to participate in these events. I love watching them,” Enad said.
Others, however, were less impressed. “The contest does not mean anything,” Sharief Soud said.
And Saman Mohammed, 35, a cameraman, told Arab News: “I personally do not like such events and I would not cover it. I have spent all my life living under war and fighting, who cares about these events?”
The pageant takes place in Las Vegas on Nov. 26.


Meghan presents fashion award to wedding dress designer Waight Keller

Givency's British fashion designer Clare Waight Keller poses with her award for British designer of the year Womenswear during the British Fashion Awards 2018 in London on December 10, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 11 December 2018
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Meghan presents fashion award to wedding dress designer Waight Keller

  • The two women met in early 2018, before the designer created the dress worn by Meghan for her wedding to Harry on May 19
  • The British Fashion Awards recognized Vivienne Westwood, winner of the award for positive change, for her commitment to the environment

LONDON: Givenchy’s artistic director Clare Waight Keller Monday received the British designer of the year womenswear award from Meghan Markle, whose dress she designed for her wedding to Prince Harry.
“It is such a pleasure to be here celebrating British fashion,” Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, said at the star-studded annual Fashion Awards at the Albert Hall.
The former US actress, who is pregnant, praised the “vision,” “creativity” and also “the incredible kindness” of Waight Keller.
The two women met in early 2018, before the designer created the dress worn by Meghan for her wedding to Harry on May 19.
The British Fashion Awards also recognized Vivienne Westwood, winner of the award for positive change, for her commitment to the environment.
The 77-old high priestess of punk took the opportunity to denounce the “rotten financial system” which the dame said was “the cause of all our problems.”
A long-time political campaigner, she also took aim at French President Emmanuel Macron who recently canceled fuel tax increases in the face of the “yellow vest” protests.
“This tax hurts the poor more than anybody,” Westwood said, adding “he’s not thinking that he has already given all these tax breaks to the rich people. So of course everybody is going to be annoyed.”
The model of the year award went to 17-year-old Kaia Gerber, following in the footsteps of her mother, former supermodel Cindy Crawford.
“It’s such an honor,” said the young American, on the verge of tears. “I have just a small role in making a creative vision come to life but I’m so beyond grateful to be a part of it.”
Among the other awards, Italian fashion house Gucci was named brand of the year and Italian Pierpaolo Piccioli, artistic director of Valentino, won the best designer award.