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Iraq: Historic beauty contest finally held

Iraq: Historic beauty contest finally held

Iraq

For the first time since 1972, Iraq held its first ever beauty pageant on Saturday in Baghdad.

The contest has repeatedly been cancelled for the last four decades due to unrest in the Middle East and the dangers of ISIS including death threats to contestants.

The event organisers hailed the contest and reminded everyone that Baghdad is a capital of culture and beauty.

We try to send a clear signal to terrorism that Baghdad is a capital of culture and beauty, which can never be wiped out.

Eight contenders competed for the crown and a chance to represent Iraq in the Miss Universe contest.

Organizers tried to stick to criteria of the international event, but made concessions to cultural sensitivities.

For instance, no swimsuit walk was allowed and the evening dresses worn by the contestants were all below the knee However, the girls were also prohibited from wearing head scarves.

Under tight security, the models struck the runway as the audience, mostly made up of their friends and family members looked on.

The pageant organizers said they hoped the winner would present a positive image for Iraqi women.

Security concerns prompted the relocation of the pageant’s final from Basra to Baghdad.

Some contestants had however dropped out of the competition after receiving death threats.

Iraq only held one pageant as part of Miss Universe – in 1972, when the country was ruled by the predecessor and cousin of Saddam Hussein, President Ahmed Hassan Al-Bakr.

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