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Beauty for a cause

It takes a lot of courage to wear the shoes of Vida Samadzai, the second woman from Afghanistan to join in an international beauty pageant—the first one being Zohra Daoud in 1974—back in 2003.

Joining a beauty contest in Afghanistan is deemed as a sharp contrast to the beliefs of the former Taliban regime which demanded women to wear coverings or burqas from head to toe whenever they go out in public places.

At the press presentation of the Miss Earth 2003, a “search for a cause? that helps in the preservation and protection of the environment, Vida created controversy in her country when she appeared in a red bikini. She was even quoted as saying that, “I would like to make people aware that, as Afghan women, we are talented, intelligent and beautiful.?

She also said that, “Now women can go to school, go to work, they're free. They don't have to wear those long burqas anymore.?

Vida may not have won the Miss Earth crown, Dania Prince of Honduras did, but she did not go home empty-handed. The organizers of the competition gave her the “Beauty for a Cause? award.

Born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, and migrated to the United States in 1886. She graduated at the California State University, Fullerton with a double major in advertising and communications.

I wonder how many term paper tasks Vida had to go through when she was still as student back then.

Her life ambition is to work for the United Nations and be a leader and helper for Afghan women whose rights had been suppressed for over a decade.

What is good about Vida? She apologized if she offended some women in her country. “Afghan women should be allowed to do anything they want. Their rights shouldn't be suppressed. They should speak their mind, to be whatever they want to be.?

I wonder when the whole world would get to see another Afghan or Muslim woman to join a global beauty search. It might take years. But Vida Samadzai will always be remembered as a courageous contestant who speaks her mind, a woman of substance!

Tags: Vida Samadzai


Posted On: 10/21/2009 03:19:09
Posted On: 10/21/2009 03:17:09
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