In historic first, Saudi Arabia to enter Miss Universe 2024 pageant

SAUDI ARABIA – a country with more than 90% Muslim population – has defied the odds by taking part in this year’s Miss Universe pageant for the first time.

The announcement was made by beauty pageant veteran Rumy Alqahtani, 27, on her Instagram barely 48 hours ago – a piece of news that can pose a shocker to conservative Islamissts.

Dressed in a strapless sequined gown which exposes the aurat (private parts of the female body that cannot be exposed or should be covered according to Islam), the model who emerges the kingdom’s first candidate for the global competition wrote in a post in Arabic:

“I am honoured to participate in the Miss Universe 2024 competition. This marks the debut of Saudi Arabia in the Miss Universe competition”.

This year’s contest will take place in Mexico and will also include Iran – also the first entry for the Islamic Republic.

Reema Juffalim 31, became the first Saudi Arabian woman to compete in an international racing series and the first female racing driver following her participation in the electric zero-emission international motor racing series – the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY series – in November 2019 (Image credit: Leaders MENA)

Alqahtani, a model who holds a Bachelor’s degree in dentistry, has been crowned Miss Saudi Arabia and has represented the kingdom in a number of pageants.

The Islamic kingdom’s maiden participation in the beauty contest is another example of how the conservative country is opening up to the world. Saudi Arabia has undergone rapid transformation under its Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, popularly known as MBS.

The Miss Universe participation has also brought the focus back to how women’s rights have seen a major shift in recent years in the Muslim country.

However, voices of opposition do erupt on cyberspace following Rumy’s revelation of her intention. – March 29, 2024

Main image credit: inkl 

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