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Iraqi Kurdish region crowns Miss Kurdistan 2013 - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Finek Mohammad Abdul Kareem smiles and waves after being crowned Miss Kurdistan Region 2013 in the city of Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan region, about 271 miles (350 kilometers) north of Baghdad, on September 28, 2013. (REUTERS/Azad Lashkari)

Finek Mohammad Abdul Kareem smiles and waves after being crowned Miss Kurdistan Region 2013 in the city of Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan region, about 271 miles (350 kilometers) north of Baghdad, on September 28, 2013. (REUTERS/Azad Lashkari)

Erbil, Asharq Al-Awsat—For the second year running in Erbil, the Miss Kurdistan pageant was in full swing. Following the launch of the contest last year, it is hoped that the contest will become an annual tradition for Iraqi Kurdistan. Last year’s winner, Shene Aziz, returned to the stage to crown her successor, Finek Mohammed. A deserving champion, Finek won the title by defeating the other 12 finalists, selected from an original 57 female Kurdish hopefuls.

Sirwan Tawfiq, Chairman of the competition’s managing committee, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the contest was coordinated by the Babylon Media Company.

The pageant was very popular and witnessed a huge turnout of fans. It also boasted an expert judging panel, including star Lebanese singer Assi El Helani, Miss Greece, Miss Albania, plastic surgeon Sherwan Al-Khilani, and university lecturer Kurdistan Mokeriana, among other Kurdish celebrities.

Twelve finalists competed for the title by answering the judging panel’s questions. Finek Mohammed won the judges over with her impressive responses, which showcased her sophistication as well as her beauty.

Tawfik added: “The new winner is fluent in three international languages—English, French and Spanish—in addition to her native Kurdish. She demonstrated a high level of sophistication and intelligence, which is part of the criteria for selecting winners of all beauty pageants. Finek simply outperformed her fellow contestants, based on conventional international standards relied on by the panel in judging the competitors.”

Sirwan also indicated that the Miss Kurdistan 2013 was previously resident in Switzerland, however, she returned to the Iraqi Kurdish region about a year ago and settled in her native Suleimaniyah.

In addition to the title of Miss Kurdistan 2013 awarded to Finek Mohammed, four other awards were also presented in the competition. These were: Miss Internet, won by Dania Anour; Miss Peace, won by Jawan Mohammed; Miss Fashion, won by Shakar; and Miss Tourism, won by Nadia Rashid.

The pageant coincided with World Tourism Day, an extremely important day for the regional government given development program. Kurdistan now attracts many Arab and foreign tourists.