Washington, 18th May: Rima Fakih, a 24-year-old Lebanese immigrant, has won the Miss USA 2010 title on Sunday. She is the first ever Arab-American to win this prestigious title.
Hailing from Dearborn, Michigan, Ms. Fakih nearly tripped in her evening gown but went on to win anyway, after telling judges that in her view birth control ought to be paid for by the healthcare system given its cost .
She also discussed her multi-faith background, describing her family as one that celebrated both the Christian and the Muslim faiths.
Ms. Fakih was born in Lebanon and immigrated to the United States as a child. She grew up in New York. The Detroit Free Press quoted pageant fan Zouheir Alawieh as saying, “This is the real face of Arab Americans, not the stereotypes you hear about.” He added, “We have culture. We have beauty. We have history, and today we made history… She believed in her dreams.”
Interestingly, in Afghanistan, people are not allowed to organize and participate in beauty contests as there is a fatwa from the Taliban leaders against it.