Tags: miss iraq | crowned | death threats

Miss Iraq Crowned After Death Threats Scare Off Contestants

Image: Miss Iraq Crowned After Death Threats Scare Off Contestants

Newly crowned Miss Iraq Shaymaa Qasim Abdelrahman, 20, at the pageant in Baghdad. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

By    |   Wednesday, 23 Dec 2015 09:22 AM

A Miss Iraq has been crowned for the first time since 1972 after Shaymaa Qasim Abdelrahman won the crown at a weekend pageant in Baghdad that was delayed by fighting with Islamic jihadists and flooded with death threats.

Abdelrahman, 20, shortly afterwards received a call warning her that if she didn't join the Islamic State she would be kidnapped, said the Daily Mail quoting Kuwaiti media reports.

Abdelrahman said she was determined "continue forward despite any obstacles."

"I want to prove that the Iraqi woman has her own existence in society, she has her rights like men," Abdelrahman, an economics student, told NBC News. "I am afraid of nothing, because I am confident that what I am doing is not wrong."

Abdelrahman, of Kirkuk, was an audience favorite at the pageant, said The Guardian.

"I'm very happy to see Iraq going forward," said Abdelrahman. "This event was huge and put a smile on the faces of the Iraqis."

Pageant organizers said there was an overflow crowd for the pageant, extending outside the Baghdad hotel ballroom where it was held. Organizers had hoped that the pageant would meet enough international standards to allow the winner to participate in the Miss Universe pageant next year.

"What we're hoping to accomplish is to make Iraq's voice heard, show that it is still alive, that its heart is still beating," said Senan Kamel, the 2015 pageant's artistic director.

Fighting in Iraq with the Islamic State forced the pageant to be delayed from its original date in October, and many pageant participants dropped out after receiving death threats.

The pageant website and Facebook page were flooded with so many death threats against the contestants that their numger dropped to less than 10 from the original number of nearly 200 women, said CNN.

"We look forward to having a good ambassador for Iraq," said Kamel, per the Daily Mail. "We deliberately organized the competition according to standards appropriate to Iraqi society to prove to the world that Iraq is a civilized country with a civic soul and a spirit of life."

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A Miss Iraq has been crowned for the first time since 1972 after Shaymaa Qasim Abdelrahman won the crown at a weekend pageant in Baghdad that was delayed by fighting with Islamic jihadists and flooded with death threats.
miss iraq, crowned, death threats
370
2015-22-23
Wednesday, 23 Dec 2015 09:22 AM
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