Successful Miss Pakistan Pageant
BY ABINTA MUTTREJA
The 8th annual Miss Pakistan World Pageant was held in Toronto on August 20, 2010. The Miss Pakistan World pageant attracts contestants of Pakistani origin from across the world was held amid tight security, as anger grows about the event, which coincides with the holy month of Ramadan.
The Pageant, which has faced criticism since its launch, was widely criticised this time around because of the timing as it was held three weeks after the start of Pakistan's floods crisis, which has affected around 20 million people, inundated about a fifth of the country and killed more than 2,000.
A former winner of Miss Pakistan World, Naomi Zaman, called for the event to be postponed. "I think the organisers should postpone the Miss Pakistan event. At this moment, people are traumatised due to the flood disaster. We as Pakistanis abroad should all be focusing on helping the victims."
But the president of the pageant, Sonia Ahmed, said that the catastrophe gave more reason for the contest to go ahead.
"I feel very sad about the disaster but, as a Pakistani, it's my right and responsibility to bring my country out in this world in a lighter image," she said. "If there are people who think it's inappropriate to hold it in a disaster, then that's their thinking. But my duty as a Pakistani is to show the world that Pakistanis are not terrorists, honour killers or fundamentalists."
Sonia believes in and continues to help today’s Pakistani women by giving them the opportunity to stand up for what their values and show the modern women of Pakistan today. Sonia is also taking up the challenge by creating an awareness of filling in the generation gap amongst the first and second generation of Pakistani Canadians by holding this event and feels that it is a great way for these young talented beautiful women to express their individuality as a person.
This year there were eight contestants participating from Canada, USA, Norway and United Kingdom. There was none from Pakistan. Sonia explained that the organization received applications from many women in Pakistan, the complicated visa process prevented any of them from competing.
There were 9 judges in the panel all professionals within the industry. The panel of judges included Kathleen Wang (hair and makeup artist), Cheryl Antae Xavier (writer and poet), Usman Khan (Orange Model management inc), Ram Khullar (Event planner), Sonia Ahmed (President Miss Pakistan World), Nyla Hassan (Motivational speaker and Image consultant), Fiaz Anwar (promoter Sur Taal records), Tahmena Bokhari (Mrs. Pakistan 2010) and Gule Sheikh (Personal Trainer).
The show started with an introduction of the girls in beautiful black outfits, the first round was a talent show where the girls illustrated a fusion of dance and music combining the western and the Pakistani culture, and it was indeed a breathtaking performance. The second round was all about fashion the girls walked the catwalk demonstrating traditional yet contemporary fashion from their home country, Pakistan.
The show continued with a modern look and the evening gown round, with awards presented to contestants in each of the following categories: Millennium Printing's Ms. Congeniality awarded to Barina Lateef, Days Inn's Ms. Talent was awarded to Shazia Ahmed, Ms Photogenic awarded to Avateef Shah, and Miss Perfect Ten (best in physique) was awarded to Annie Rupani.
This was followed by the judges asking the contestants several questions about how they would make an impact within the community if they win the title of Miss Pakistan World. At this stage, the 5 top contestants were determined.
Naira Aman from New York (1st runner-up) and Barina Lateef from Norway (2nd runner-up) were the last two.
Annie Rupani, a 21-year-old woman, representing Karachi, Pakistan and Sugar Land, Texas USA, was crowed Miss Pakistan World 2010. She was really happy and is ready to start her journey. “Annie" wants to prove that today’s Pakistani women can still be traditional and yet be strong and independent in her own way. She also wants to promote Pakistan positively in the community and get rid of the negative image the world has about Pakistan. Well done “Annie” and wish you all the success for the year ahead.
Congratulations to Sonia Ahmed for organising another successful pageant under stressful circumstances.