Thursday, February 28, 2013

Olah becomes first Ethiopian-born Miss Israel

Having made aliyah with her family at the age of 12, Yityish Aynaw never quite figured that after completing her army service, her fatigues would be replaced by a ball gown and crown.

Named Miss Israel 2013, Yityish, which means “a look to the future” in her native language of Amharic, is the first Ethiopian-born Israeli ever to win the competition, which was held this year in Haifa.

“My aliyah was pretty tough,” the 21-year-old Netanya resident said. “A new language, a modern society. I’m lucky to have had a friend, Noa, who befriended me from the start and helped me out. I didn't study in an ulpan. I was thrown into the deep water and learned the best that way.”

The judges were reportedly won over by her answer to their question about which historical character influenced her most: Marin Luther King Jr.

“He fought for justice and equality, and that’s one of the reasons I’m here – to show there are also good things in my community which are not presented in the media… There are not enough dark-skinned models in Israel. I hope to become a successful model thanks to the contest and create a change in the perception of dark-skinned models. I would be happy to be the first Ethiopian television host, an Israeli Tyra Banks.”

Heebonics looks forward to further reporting on the undoubtedly positive impact that Aynaw will have on Israeli society, and that of the Diaspora as well.

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