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.