Lebanese beauty queen stripped of title after her Israel visit is revealed

Swedish-Lebanese dual citizen Amanda Hanna removed from position of Miss Lebanon Emigrant 2017 one week after winning competition 

Friday 25 August 2017 09:18
Comments
The incident is not the first time Lebanon’s anti-Israel laws have caused a problem in the world of beauty contests
The incident is not the first time Lebanon’s anti-Israel laws have caused a problem in the world of beauty contests

The winner of a Lebanese beauty pageant has been stripped of her title just one week after winning her crown, local media has reported.

Swedish-Lebanese Amanda Hanna won Miss Lebanon Emigrant 2017 earlier this month but was told she was no longer allowed to hold the position after organisers discovered she had previously visited neighbouring Israel using her Swedish passport on an academic trip in 2016.

“After communicating our decision with Lebanon's Minister of Tourism, he decided that Hanna should be stripped of her title because her visit to Israel violates our country's laws,” a statement given by The Festival of Lebanese Emigrants in Dhour Al Choueir to newspaper Al Modon read.

Lebanon and Israel technically remain in a state of war, although the border has remained largely quiet since the last direct conflict between the two states in 2006.

In Lebanon there is a blanket ban on any trade or cultural products from the Jewish state, citizens are banned from travelling there, and Israeli citizens cannot visit. Contact with Israelis is also illegal and can carry jail time.

A 14 August Facebook status shared by Ms Hanna showing her being crowned thanked everyone who supported her during the competition.

Women in Lebanon protest law allowing rapists to marry their victims to escape punishment

“At first I was sceptical about it, but it turned out that I was wrong. It has been one of the best weeks of my life, where I have, among other things, had to go around in Lebanon & visit wonderful places. I've gotten to know people who have come to stand close to me & I have developed in particular as a person. It has been a wonderful trip & I am incredibly happy that I participated,” she wrote.

The organisers are yet to announce whether the competiton's runner-up will now inherit the crown.

The Festival of Lebanese Emigrants in Dhour Al Choueir did not immediately respond to The Independent’s request for comment.

The incident is not the first time Lebanon’s anti-Israel laws have caused a problem in the world of beauty contests.

In 2015’s Miss Universe competition, Miss Lebanon almost lost her title after calls were made for her to be punished over a photograph of her posing with Miss Israel, Miss Japan and Miss Slovenia which went viral online.

Doron Matalon had pestered Saly Greige for a photograph together throughout the contest, Ms Greige said at the time.

“Since the first day of my arrival to participate to Miss Universe, I was very cautious to avoid being in any photo or communication with Miss Israel, who tried several times to take a photo with me,” Ms Greige said.

“I was having a photo with Miss Japan, Miss Slovenia, suddenly Miss Israel jumped in and took a selfie, and uploaded it on her social media.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in