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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Morals 2011 Saudi Arabia

It's been a while since I last read the daily paper and today I asked our reception guard if he has an extra English paper, smilingly he gave me one. I am not expecting much to read, so and so news about Gadhafi's family and fortune, the ongoing war in Syria, price hikes and so on and so forth. But my face brighten up when I caught sight of something quite unusual. no, not unusual, it can even be unexpected and yes, surprising. I never thought I'd see one or even hear such an event ever occuring in this part of the world.

In the paper today was this article about a beauty pageant held in Al Qatif in the Eastern Province, although not the traditional parade of beauties in bikinis and gowns, this one is quite different.
At first thought, I cannot imagine how the contest went through, or maybe they removed their abayas and tarhas and only wear them again for the photoshoots? Or were they judge for the most beautiful eyes? I find it quite amusing seeing the women in sashes, crowns and boquets in their black covers, until I read the whole article.
When Miss Universe and or Miss World rely much on the physical aspect of the contest, this one is all about "inner beauty," pun intended. This young women were judged base on their achievements in school, home, social events, community service as well as religious duties. The contest is open to all young women and this year as the news stated there were 385 participants. These young women once applied were closely monitored for a few months. "They must enroll in educational and training programs and apply what they learn in their courses, including morals, Islamic education, psychology, human rghts affairs and child development," - Amal Al-Sibal, Saudi Gazette 24 Oct 2011
After taking such activities these women were assessed and interviewed and the young woman who is most capable of servicing her community is chosen as Miss Morals.
Surely a twist to what we know of beauty pageants. Or course this event is for women only and held in women only venue. One thing to add is that this has been going on for 4 years already.
The goal of Miss Moral pageant is "to bring out the best in the young people in the Kingdom and to produce ethically guided social leaders."
It is also suggested by the organizers that a pageant of the same kind would be held for the young men of the country, thus Mr. Morals, and that I have to see!

1 comment:

  1. This is so unique in the world! Of course, I don't know women in your country enough to know what this might mean to them, but based on a sense of humanity, I'm sure it was quite an honor for them. I can't speak as to how they feel about wearing these outfits that cover their bodies completely, but as an outsider, I see these women as stronger than those in more open countries. It must take a strong mind to withhold so much of yourself. I salute the women of your country. There's a lot to be said for modesty. I would tell a woman in your country that she should be proud of herself. I hope they don't long to be like the Western world. Surely God would rather look upon a woman shrouded than a woman exposed.