First Miss Iraq Crowned Since 1972

Shaima Qassem Abdulrahman has been crowned Miss Iraq, making the 20-year-old economics student the nation's first official pageant winner in 40 years. The last contest was held in 1972, and this year's iteration faced fierce opposition from religious conservatives and tribal leaders, some of whom allegedly sent in death threats against the participants. “I want to prove that the Iraqi woman has her own existence in society, she has her rights like men,” Abdelrahman said of her victory. “I am afraid of nothing, because I am confident that what I am doing is not wrong.”