The mystery surrounding Miss Uzbekistan is not any clearer just weeks away from the Miss World competition in Indonesia. Just who is Rahima Ganieva and how did she get into the pageant?
The pageant believes Uzbekistan has the country's first ever contestant in 18-year-old Rahima Ganieva, according to EurasiaNet.org
. The trouble is Uzbekistan officials do not know who she is, although the pageant announced in July that Ganieva would take part in the event
"Rahima, from Tashkent won the event held on the 20th of July," said the Miss World website.
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EurasiaNet reported that the Uzbek Culture and Sports Ministry and the country's national committee on women said they had no knowledge of Ganieva's participation in the Miss World contest.
Those officials said Uzbekistan doesn't even have a Miss Uzbekistan contest, suggesting anyone claiming to be Miss Uzbekistan is an imposter, reported EurasiaNet.
"Rahima Ganieva never passed through any special selection process in Uzbekistan," Zhavlon Komolov, a representative of the Tashkent-based Pro Models modeling agency, told EurasiaNet. The agency is where Ganieva briefly trained as a 15-year-old.
"If there had been a process to choose a young lady for this competition, I can assure you that a much more beautiful model would have been chosen. I'm sorry that Ganieva is choosing to build a career on lies," Komolov added.
Ganieva does not offer much on her Facebook page
beyond that she is a contestant in the contest.
In an introductory pageant video, she said "this year I became a student at the University of International Diplomacy and Economy," though her written biography states that she is a graduate from "Tashkent Professional College of Tourism," according to the International Business Times
Even Gulnara Karimova, daughter of Uzbekistan president Islam Karimova, took a shot at Ganieva, calling her a "Tajik-looking girl" who "appeared out of nowhere," according to Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty
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Radio Free Europe said Kosovo, Cameroon, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau are other countries with first-ever representatives at the 62-year-old competition of Miss World.
Radio Free Europe reported that the pageant has not commented on the Miss Uzbekistan controversy yet. It is currently dealing with moving its final event after hard line Islamists in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta called the event "pornographic" and the city would be disgraced by hosting it.
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