ERBIL, Kurdistan (Rudaw) – Zhalia Sirwan a 20-year-old collage student from the city of Sulaimani has been crowned Miss Kurdistan 2016 in this year’s beauty pageant that was held despite the ongoing war with the Islamic State (ISIS) militants along the Kurdish borders.
The contest was cancelled for two consecutive years since 2014 due to the war and refugee crisis.
Zhalia was able to beat the other 10 finalists who had reached the concluding stage of the beauty pageant out of 63 contestants that came from all four parts of Kurdistan.
The event was held in Erbil with both Kurdish and international referees supervising the contest.
The Miss Kurdistan beauty pageant was held for the first time in 2012 with the support from Kurdistan Tourism Board and private entertainment companies.
The event this year was sponsored by both the tourism board and the Babylon Company, a private entertainment firm. It was postponed to October 6 despite reparations that had been underway since early August, arrangers told Rudaw.
Babylon manager Salwan Zaitoun said an estimated $350,000 had been allocated for the event held in Babylon Hall in Ankawa, Erbil.