Miss England contestant in hijab first

Sara Iftekhar is set to become the first entrant to wear a hijab in a Miss England final. (Shutterstock)
Updated 04 September 2018
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Miss England contestant in hijab first

  • Sara Iftekhar, a law student, is among 50 competitors for the Miss England crown and hopes to become the first Muslim winner
  • Iftekhar is a make-up artist and often shares pictures of herself wearing traditional Pakistani dress on social media

LONDON: A Miss England contestant is set to wear a hijab in the finals on Tuesday, in a first for the organization.
Sara Iftekhar, a law student, is among 50 competitors for the Miss England crown and hopes to become the first Muslim winner.
“It just proves Miss England represents the way England is today,” competition spokeswoman Angie Beasley was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail newspaper.
Iftekhar, 20, has already won the Miss Huddersfield title, representing the northern English market town.
She is a make-up artist and often shares pictures of herself wearing traditional Pakistani dress on social media.

 


The student started a clothing business aged 16.
“I may be the first woman to wear a hijab. However, I am just a regular girl and we all have a fair opportunity in this contest,” the BBC quoted her as saying.
“If I want to cover myself up and dress modestly why should that be an issue? I am just like the other contestants.”
The first stage of the competition was held in July, including the sports beach beauty, top model, beautiful mind and publicity rounds.
“Here is a vibrant, confident young woman who is proving, on a huge platform, that beauty comes in many forms, that Muslim women in hijabs can be beautiful, and that we can own our beauty,” wrote Iqra Choudhry in The Independent online newspaper.
“The fact that she’s reached the Miss England finals is something that should be celebrated by the Muslim community, and by women at large.”
Tuesday’s events in the second stage at Kelham Hall in Nottinghamshire, central England, will round up the ethical fashion show, talent and evening wear catwalk sections of the contest.
Public voting by text message closed at midday (1100 GMT) on Tuesday.
The 2018 Miss World finals are being held in Sanya, China, in November and December.
Miss World started in 1951.


‘I’m as Palestinian as I am Dutch,’ Gigi Hadid says

Updated 18 November 2018
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‘I’m as Palestinian as I am Dutch,’ Gigi Hadid says

DUBAI: Model-of-the-moment Gigi Hadid took to the stage at an event in Sydney last week to defend her heritage and express her “respect” for her Arab roots.
The 23-year-old model, whose father is Palestinian and mother is Dutch, made the fiery statement during a promotional appearance for Reebok’s “Be More Human” campaign.
“When I shot the cover of Vogue Arabia, I wasn’t ‘Arab enough’ to be representing those girls, even though I’m half-Palestinian,” Hadid told the crowd of her March 2017 cover for the magazine, according to Yahoo. “I’m as Palestinian as I am Dutch. Just because I have blonde hair, I still carry the value of my ancestors and I appreciate and respect that.”

The model also touched on her much-reported-on relationship with British singer Zayn Malik, saying the pair had discussed her background in the past.
“I was taking about this to my boyfriend too, he is half-Pakistani and half-English,” she said, according to the Daily Mail. “And there’s always this thing where you’re mixed race or you come from two different worlds. You see how both sides treat each other. And you become a bridge between both sides.”
Gigi isn’t the only Hadid sibling to talk publicly about the family’s roots.
In April 2017, her sister Bella opened up about their Palestinian father’s immigration experience and her embrace of Islam in an interview with Porter magazine.
The siblings’ father, Mohamed Hadid, lived in Syria and Lebanon before he moved to the US in his teens.
“My dad was a refugee when he first came to America,” Bella said in the interview.
“He was always religious and he always prayed with us. I am proud to be a Muslim,” she added.
In her latest appearance in Sydney, older sister Gigi also touched on the pressures of the competitive fashion industry.
“Regardless of who you are, or what you do, you always are allowed to give yourself room to screw up and learn and grow,” she said. “I’m a human and someone that can make mistakes,” she said. “But I can still learn and grow and be better.”