Miss Lebanon stripped of title after her Israel visit is revealed

Amanda Hanna MISS LEBANON EMIGREThe 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.

“At first I was skeptical 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.”

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  • Hannibal

    That is really dumb. An innocent girl goes to Israel on an academic trip organized by a Swedish school and pays the price of falling into the trap of our political nonsense. Our Patriarch visited Israel to tend to the Maronites there I do not see him losing his crown. Instead of strengthening the LAFs and taking care of what ails us the dumb politicians have time to strip Miss Lebanon from her title for a trivial thing to show the world that we are resisting? Resistance is what the fighters and the soldiers do on the battlefield NOT going after young ladies so they never come back to their country. DUMB move but what do you expect?

  • Sex & Chocolate

    Dumb feel good policies that lump what is innocent with what isn’t together. Backwardness does not move anything forward.

  • vs

    Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said he is ready to negotiate with the “Islamic state”
    http://www.almanar.com.lb/2513146

    • Danny Farah

      But Miss Lebanon cannot visit Israel even though ISIS are his arch enemies..