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18 Oct 2018

Countries At War: Miss Earth Lebanon Stripped Of Title For Posing With Miss Earth Israel

Who would have taught that a harmless photo of two beauty queens posing together and making the peace signs will result in one of them getting stripped of her title? Miss Earth Lebanon, Salwa Akar has been stripped of her title after a photograph of her posing with Miss Earth Israel, Dana Zreik during the international pageant in the Philippines surfaced online.

The two beauty queens are pictured looking friendly with Miss Earth Lebanon standing with her arm around Miss Earth Israel with both of them making a ‘peace’ sign with their hands.

The organizers of Miss Earth Lebanon issued a statement to local media saying they “categorically rejected the relationship with Israel” and that they had withdrawn Miss Akar’s title.
Miss Earth is an international beauty pageant promoting environmental awareness and is considered one of the ‘big four’ along with Miss World, Miss Universe and Miss International. The pageant is currently underway in the Philippines, with 90 aspirants from all over the world taking part in the competition, which culminates in the finals held next month.

Confirming the news of her being stripped of her title, a defiant Miss Akar pledged to continue competing in the pageant. She said,

“I don’t need a ‘title’ to be myself,’ Miss Akar wrote on her official Facebook page. “I, the Soul am peace.. and I will finish what I started with or without your support and love ..

“God is always beside me, he knows me more than anyone.. and he knows what’s in my heart . Om Shanti.”

Lebanon is the base for Islamist militants Hezbollah, which receives backing from Israel’s arch enemy Iran. The Jewish state has fought several conflicts against Hezbollah, whose forces control south Lebanon bordering Israel and Beirut’s southern suburbs, the last in 2006.

Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Hezbollah in a speech before the U.N. General Assembly of setting up rocket factories near Beirut’s airport and using civilian infrastructure to hide them. Holding up an aerial image of the alleged missile sites, he claimed Hezbollah was converting missiles on behalf of Iran.

“In Lebanon, Iran is directing Hezbollah to build secret sites to convert inaccurate projectiles into precision-guided missiles, missiles that can target deep inside Israel within an accuracy of 10 metres (yards),” he said.

He accused Hezbollah of “deliberately using the innocent people of Beirut as human shields.”

In response, Lebanese President Michel Aoun tweeted that Netanyahu’s allegations were ‘baseless,’ calling them a ‘”ew Israeli threat to Lebanese sovereignty.”

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