Egyptian beauties get ready for Miss Egypt 2014 pageant

The winner of the beauty contest will be automatically qualified to represent Egypt for the Miss World, Miss Earth and Miss Universe pageants

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Egypt is getting ready to crown its beauty queen this month in the annual Miss Egypt 2014 competition, which is returning following a three year hiatus.

“Gamalek Ya Masr, Miss Egypt 2014, is finally making its comeback after being halted for three years,” Kareem Hussein, the beauty contest’s spokesman, told Al Arabiya News, referring to the competition by its Arabic name.

“We stopped the program after the 2011 revolution,” Hussein said, stating that broadcasting an entertaining show while people were “dying and suffering” would not have been appropriate in his view.

He added that the Muslim Brotherhood government did not encourage the broadcast of such entertainment shows during its time in power.

During the contest, which will take place in the coastal resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh on Sept. 26, the 18 contestants will be scrutinized by a nine-member panel including former Miss Egypt Donia Hamed and fashion designer Hani al-Beheiri.

The jury will be chaired by Youssed Spahi, who has organized the competition since 1998.

“Our expectations for this year are higher than in previous years as we want a Miss that would represent Egypt the right way,” Spahi told Al Arabiya News.

The chair further explained that the competition it is not only about the contestants’ appearance but also judges the participants on their education levels and their knowledge of Egypt’s culture and heritage.

“She has to speak several languages and be willing to travel during her reign [as Miss Egypt],” he added.

The winner of the prestigious beauty contest will be automatically qualified to represent Egypt for the Miss World, Miss Earth and Miss Universe pageants.

She will also be awarded a number of gifts.

“In addition to being crowned Miss Egypt and having the privilege of wearing the 2014 Miss Egypt sash, the winner will be given a car and jewelry,” Hussein said.

Not only about beauty

The competition also aims to boost tourism in the country, which has seen a dramatic drop in visitors since the 2011 uprising.

“All the [film shootings] happened in touristic places such as the Pyramids and Khan al-Khalili [a historic Cairo market] to show the world what Egypt has to offer,” Hussein said, adding that the title of the competition does not only refer to the beauty of the contestants but also the country.

Private camp

Ahead of the competition, the women representing the country’s different governorates, which vie for the title, are immersed in a private camp to prepare for the show and learn the manners required of a beauty queen.

According to Spahi, one of the hopefuls failed to do so and was “dismissed” from the competition.

“One of the contestants was left out of the show after she failed to respect the rules of the competition and our system,” Spahi said.

“She wasn’t taking the show seriously and wasn’t punctual,” he said, stating that Miss Egypt attracts international attention and needs to portray Egyptian women in the best way possible.