Shaymaa Abdelrahman, the 20-year-old who won Iraq’s first national beauty pageant since 1972, told NBC News that she’s “afraid of nothing.”
The Miss Iraq 2015 pageant was faced with threats that caused several participants to back out, and delayed the entire event from its originally scheduled date in October. The pageant was held in Baghdad on Saturday in front of a crowd that consisted of mostly the contestants’ relatives, as it was closed off to the public.
“I want to prove that the Iraqi woman has her own existence in society, she has her rights like men,” Abdelrahman told NBC News. “I am afraid of nothing, because I am confident that what I am doing is not wrong.”
As Miss Iraq 2015, Abdelrahman now has the opportunity to participate in the 2016 Miss Universe pageant.
Story by Allan Smith and editing by Ben Nigh
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