With thousands of Israelis hoping to catch a glimpse of Barack Obama when he visits next week, it might come as a surprise that he has invited a 21-year-old shop assistant to the official state dinner.
But Yityish Aynaw is no ordinary shop assistant. Indeed, she was recently crowned Miss Israel, the first Ethiopian-born Israeli to win the pageant.
Ms Aynaw told the Jerusalem Post today that she is “very excited” for the opportunity to meet Mr Obama, who, she says, has had a “notable influence on her life”. Asked by the Israeli daily why she thought she had been chosen to attend the dinner, Ms Aynaw said that she is “the first black Miss Israel to be chosen and [Mr Obama] is the first black American President. These go together.”