Israel gets first Ethiopian-born beauty queen

21-year-old model Yityish Aynaw, a former IDF officer, made aliyah some 10 years ago.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
February 28, 2013 14:40
1 minute read.
Yityish Aynaw, 21, from Netanya wins Miss Israel 2013.

Ethiopian Beauty Queen; Miss Israel 2013. (photo credit: photo from channel 2 marc israel sellem)

 
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Yityish Aynaw, a former Israeli army officer, has become the first Ethiopian-born Israeli to win the Miss Israel pageant.

A panel of judges awarded the title to Aynaw, a 21-year-old model who came to Israel about a decade ago, at the International Convention Center Haifa on Wednesday.

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"It's important that a member of the Ethiopian community wins the competition for the first time," she was quoted by Israeli media as telling the judges in response to a question. "There are many different communities of many different colors in Israel, and it's important to show that to the world." Aynaw came to Israel with her family when she was 12. Acclimating to Israel was difficult at first, Aynaw said, but she picked up the language quickly with the help of a friend.

She has been working as a saleswoman at a clothing store since her army discharge.

During the competition, Aynaw cited the slain American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. as one of her heroes.

"He fought for justice and equality, and that's one of the reasons I'm here: I want to show that my community has many beautiful qualities that aren't always represented in the media," she said.

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