Afghan beauty claims Miss England title
      05 - 09 - 2005 by YorkShire Post Today

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An Afghan teenager has become the first Muslim girl to be crowned Miss England.
Hammasa Kohistani, 18, won the national finals of the beauty contest, which were held in Liverpool on Friday and Saturday night, and will go on to represent England in the Miss World contest.
She was born in Tashkent in central Uzbekistan after her parents were forced to flee Afghanistan.
The brunette, who speaks six languages including Russian, Persian and French, looked ecstatic as the crown was placed on her head before a cheering crowd in Liverpools Olympia Theatre.
She was selected from a group of 40 entrants following the two-day competition.

Dressed in an ivory white chiffon and silk ball gown designed and made by her mother, the teenager said: "When they announced that I had won I thought I had misheard. I hoped they had not, but it took a second to sink in."
Asked about her feelings at being the first Muslim Miss England, she said: "I am making history and I am very happy. Hopefully I Will not be the last."

The student, who was known as Miss Maya after the Asian fashion house which sponsored her, has also been offered a part in a forthcoming Bollywood movie.
Among the other contestants was British Iraqi Muslim Sarah Mendly, whose family fled Saddam Hussein"s regime and moved to Britain in 1983.
Yorkshire was represented by four contestants at the national finals: Miss York, Georgia Horsley; Miss Sheffield; Michaela Weeks; Miss Leeds; Becky Ward; and Miss Wakefield; Leanne Megson.
Miss Horsley, 18, of Norton-on-Derwent; near Malton, was the only Yorkshire contestant to make it through to the final 12.

The Yorkshire Post revealed last month that Miss Horsley had endured a breast cancer scare just before the Miss York finals were held in May.
She said: "The atmosphere backstage at the weekend was electric, everyone was so excited and nervous. It is quite sad in some ways that the finals are over, but I am looking forward to seeing what happens in the future. "My friends and family were brilliant, they were all there and came up to me in tears at the end because they were so proud."

More: Read This Story in Pashto

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