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.


Hero dog saves Indian family in flood-hit Kerala

Indian residents look at houses destroyed by flood waters at Kannappankundu in Kozhikode, in the Indian state of Kerala on August 10, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 14 August 2018
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Hero dog saves Indian family in flood-hit Kerala

  • Kerala, famed for its pristine palm-lined beaches and tea plantations, is battered by the monsoon every year but the rains have been particularly severe this season
  • More than a million foreign tourists visited Kerala last year

NEW DELHI: A family in the flood-ravaged Indian state of Kerala narrowly escaped death after their pet dog woke them up moments before a landslide destroyed their home, local media reported Monday.
Mohanan P. and his family were sleeping at home in the mountainous Idukki district when their pet dog started barking raucously at around 3:00 am, waking the household.
“That’s when we realized something was wrong. I went out to see and we had to just rush out of the house,” Mohanan told Indian news network NDTV.
No sooner had the family rushed out when the landslide plowed down a nearby hill and demolished their home.
The family, dog in tow, have since moved to a government-run relief camp nearby.
Flash floods triggered by the annual monsoon rains have pounded the southern tourist hotspot in the past few days, killing 39 people and leaving 100,000 more homeless so far.