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Sat 25 Jul 2009 09:07 AM

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Saudi girl crowned Miss Moral Beauty

Saudi beauty queen trounced 274 rivals to win crown and cash without showing her face.

Saudi girl crowned Miss Moral Beauty
SAUDI RULES: The winners face and body were completely covered by the black head-to-toe abaya mandatory in the Kingdom. (Getty Images)

Saudi beauty queen Aya Ali Al Mulla trounced 274 rivals to win a crown, jewellery, cash and a trip to Malaysia, and all without showing her face, Saudi media reported on Friday.

With her face and body completely covered by the black head-to-toe abaya mandatory in the conservative Muslim kingdom, 18-year-old Mullah was named "Queen of Beautiful Morals" late on Thursday, newspapers said.

There was none of the swimsuit and evening gown competitions and heavy media coverage of beauty pageants elsewhere when the contest was decided in the eastern city of Safwa.

Instead, the winner and the two runner-up princesses had to undergo a three-month test of their dutifulness to their parents and family, and their service to society.

This included a battery of personal, cultural, social and psychological tests, Al-Watan reported.

It was unclear exactly what Mullah did to pip her rivals in the huge field, but Al-Watan reported that the high school graduate had good grades and hopes to go into medicine.

She raked in a 5,000-riyal (1,333-dollar) prize, a pearl necklace, diamond watch, diamond necklace, and a free ticket to Malaysia with her win.

The 20-year-old first runner-up, one of triplets, had already won an education ministry-sponsored "I love you, my country" competition.

The second runner-up, a high school student aged 15, was cited for taking care of her home and family during the week because her mother works far from home and can only return on weekends.

Beauty contests focused on physical beauty are non-existent in segregated Saudi Arabia, where women can not mix with unrelated men, and must appear in public completely covered -- even in photographs.

Miss Moral Beauty pageant organiser Khadra al-Mubarak kept the focus on inner beauty, as defined by Islamic standards of Saudi Arabia.

"The real winner in this competition is the society. The winners represent the culture of the society and its high Islamic morals," Mubarak said, according to Al-Watan.

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ali 11 years ago

"a battery of personal, cultural, social and psychological tests" !! it does not say what was here scores in all tests may be they should give her a PhD degree... absolutely pathetic ... hard luck Saudi women

Honest Chappy 11 years ago

Hahahahahahahahaha.... congratulations..... this is the best news i have heard all week..... brightened up my day...

Mohamed Abdul Najeeb ajward 11 years ago

this is good news as well as best example for those whos having a argument regardingthe Abaya, last few weeks. these gals showed that the Importamt of the Muslims Ladies, who can do same as others do with covering these entire body with Abaya.

Doug 11 years ago

Yes, they can do exactly the same as other do while wearing their abaya....oh, except travel without seeking permission from a male relative first, choose their husband, vote, work (unless under special circumstances), be regarded as equal under the judiciary system, you know, all the things that are required for equal participation within a society.... ...what Saudi women have to wear is the very least of their obstacles.

Mumeen Chowdhury 11 years ago

We really don't need to copy all competitions that the West has shown to have. We don't even need to go near to it. Moral beauty competition is also senseless as the real care-takers will never come forward to exhibit their duties to parents, family members and society which is only requied to be performed for the satisfaction of Allah SWT. There's no place of exhibitionism in Islam.

Curious 11 years ago

The event is a beautiful concept and its a great way to encourage that which our religion expects from us. BTW, Mr Honest Chappy...what are you laughing about? If you don't understand the culture it is best you didn't comment!

What was the point? 11 years ago

Obviously TV and magazine shoots are out of the question. Though can she expect lucrative offers to perhaps...deliver speeches on Moral Beauty at schools? I think we can all agree that the abaya is a cultural requirement, not a religious one. A common criticism of the West (which I do not think is without foundation) is that women's bodies are viewed as objects to the extent that women themselves are thereby cheapened/demeaned. However, isn't the requirement that women completely cover themselves also an objectification of the female form? To me, the two are akin to different sides of the same coin. Surely, there is a happy medium? I just don't see the point of this 'contest'.

Yehia 11 years ago

Say hello for the civilization for everyone be sure that this not the islamic civilization this is the something make us laugh about it because its the hell of freedom

Habib 11 years ago

To me, this is an turning point about the projection of a women in the western culture, this contest has set an example of the inner beuty of a women, people should think about in a women, physical exposure is not everything.

FA 11 years ago

what was your point? "I think we can all agree that the abaya is a cultural requirement, not a religious one." - really? and what qualifies you to make that judgment on all our behalfs and what authority are you on the religion in question to make that statement? "I just don't see the point of your 'comment'."