Rim El Tounsi of Tunisia was crowned MISS ARAB WORLD 2010 on December 7th in Cairo, Egypt. Eighteen young women of Arab descent competed in the annual pageant. The pageant, which aspires to embrace the conservative nature of Arab culture, was criticized by two conservative contestants who felt uncomfortable with the excessive Western touch of the pageant. Al Zahraa Al Maleki, 21, had been representing Oman before pulling out. “For me, this was wrong, especially as a woman from an Arab Gulf society,” she said. “I joined with the understanding that this was a cultural event, but after three days of wearing full makeup, standing for photo shoots and learning to walk on stage, I chose to go back to my classes,” she added. Miss Kuwait, who was accompanied by her mother, left a few days later.
MISS ARAB WORLD 2010 IS RIM EL TOUNSI
The New York Times, 12/7/2010