For the first time since 1972, women from all over Iraq gathered amid threats from ISIS and other extremist groups.
These women were gathering for the Miss Iraq 2015 pageant and it went off flawlessly. Shaymaa Abdelrahman, a 20-year-old woman from Kirkuk, was awarded the winner saying that she was glad to see Iraq moving forward and smiles finally on the people’s faces.
Sinan Kimel, a fashion designer and judge saw this pageant as a phase of the war against terrorism. Tight security at the door was a constant reminder that the nation was still at war. Kimel said everyone involved knew that they show must go on to show the terrorists that they do not control Iraq. He said “Iraq won’t die, Iraq is still alive.”
The beauty pageant contestants visited refugee camps and orphanages in the weeks before to give hope to the young women displaced by war. The winner hopes to use her leverage to advance education and empowerment for Iraqi women.
Also notable was that no alcohol was drank nor bikinis worn, a symbol that you can still be a woman and not disobey your beliefs.
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