Maya Reaidy crowned Miss Lebanon 2018

Newly crowned Miss Lebanon 2018, Maya Reaidy. (AFP)
Updated 01 October 2018

Maya Reaidy crowned Miss Lebanon 2018

  • University student Maya Reaidy was crowned Miss Lebanon 2018
  • The show featured 30 candidates from different cities and regions of Lebanon

DUBAI: There’s a new beauty queen on the throne in Beirut as university student Maya Reaidy was crowned Miss Lebanon 2018 in a glittering event on Sunday night.

The show, held at the Forum de Beyrouth, featured 30 candidates from different cities and regions of Lebanon.

Reaidy won out over Mira Toufaily, who was crowned first runner-up and won over viewers with her story of being brought up by SOS Lebanon, a non-profit organization that supports children who are deprived of parental care or are at risk of losing it. Other runners-up included Yara Abou Monsef, Vanessa Yazbeck and Tatiana Saroufim respectively.

The 22-year-old pharmacy student at the Lebanese American University was hand-picked by a judging panel comprised of George Kordahi, Nancy Ajram, former Miss Lebanon Nadine Njeim, actor Adel Karam, designer Nicolas Jebran and former Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, among others.

The top prize is worth $500,000 and includes apartments, jewelry, multiple vehicles and various trips abroad. Reaidy will also represent Lebanon at the Miss Universe 2018 competition, which will be held in Thailand on Dec. 16, while the runner-up will represent the country at the Miss World 2018 pageant.

During the crowning ceremony, the Lebanese beauty took to the stage in a sky blue feathered dress designed by Jebran and clutched a huge bouquet of white flowers as she donned a sparkling crown created by jewelry designer Doumit Zoughaib.

Sunday night’s ceremony was hosted by Marcel Ghanem and Annabella Hilal and featured musical performances by US rapper French Montana, Lebanese-Canadian singer Massari and Lebanon’s very own Maya Diab.

After the show, Lebanese social media users took to Twitter in droves to draw comparisons between the latest winner and Georgina Rizk — the only Lebanese beauty queen to have won the title of Miss Universe in 1971.

“Let history repeat itself,” one user posted alongside a side-by-side shot of the two winners.


Meet Aya Barqawi, the Saudi-born social media star

Updated 18 August 2019

Meet Aya Barqawi, the Saudi-born social media star

  • Barqawi promotes what she calls ‘high-street fashion’
  • Barqawi’s Instagram posts are designed with digital frames to add a unique touch to her content

DUBAI: Between the luxurious fashion statements and international runways, Palestinian-Jordanian Aya Barqawi continues to inspire her followers with thousands of on-budget styles.

“I always try to make people feel inclusive. I want to end this intimidation that comes with fashion,” the Saudi-born blogger told Arab News.

Barqawi promotes what she calls “high-street fashion” and finds the challenge of adapting to international trends “fun.”

“I am looking for new ways to make trends work for me,” she said. “You just need a little bit of creativity and imagination.”

Like many women her age with similar passions, the 24-year-old was unable to study fashion in college because of a lack of opportunity in the Middle East. Now, as a design graduate, she incorporates her field of study with a social media career.

Barqawi’s Instagram posts are designed with digital frames to add a unique touch to her content. “Studying design helped me shape my visual identity on Instagram because I do a lot of graphic work on my photos. It makes it easier for me to create digital content,” she said.

The stylist also worked as a fashion photographer for a brand in Berlin. “I never thought they would pick me over people who are actually from Berlin, who were actually German,” she said. “But my work spoke for itself.”

Barqawi is always looking to motivate other women. “No matter what the field of work you are in, never underestimate yourself. Never second-guess yourself and never compromise your standards for anyone or anything,” she said.

The fashion blogger has also worked in media as a TV producer and segment producer. “I have done digital, I have done TV, so now I am just open to anything that comes my way,” she said.