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First Black Miss Israel

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March 26, 2013

Yityish Aynaw, the first black Miss Israel, attended a state dinner during President Obama’s first trip to Israel since his election.  The 21-year-old Ethiopian immigrant was inspired by the president and found parallels between them, stating that she, too, had been raised by grandparents and taught to work hard.  As she related to the Daily Mail, she found the president to be “an exciting man, a world-class hunk.”

Aynaw and her younger brother moved to Israel when she was 12 years old to live with her maternal grandparents after both her mother and father died in Ethiopia.  Aynaw describes her integration into Israeli life as a sink-or-swim experience, stating in The Times of Israel that rather than being placed in separate Ethiopians-only classes, she had been “thrown into the deep end” in the state school system, where she “learned to swim.”  Aynaw served in Israel’s army for three years and was working in a shoe shop before entering the Miss Israel Contest.  About her new title, Aynaw told BBC News, “It is a great honor not just for me, but for the other people that I represent.”

Staff, The Times of Israel

Vennard, Martin, BBC World Service

Peterson, Hayley, Daily Mail Online


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