Tidbits of Arabic News translated into English

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Distinguished Muslim Woman Contest

There was an interview with a young Iranian woman who traveled to Indonesia recently for the 'Distinguished Muslim Woman' contest.

Her name is Masooma.
This pageant was an Islamic-themed rival to the Ms. World beauty contest, which was also held in Indonesia this year. 

 Here's some of the other contestants:
 Here's the audience:

 And this was the Nigerian contestant upon learning she had won, fallen to the ground!

Masooma said she was happy for the Nigerian contestant, who is a beautiful person inside and out, and deserved to win!

She did pretty well herself; she was one of the 100 finalists out of the 550 entrants. She said they were judged based on their accomplishments, opinion of the hijab, and knowledge of the Quran. She said the point was to show that a hijab does not stop a Muslim girl from accomplishing anything and achieving much.

Since the contestants came from all over the world, I think they actually conducted the pageant in English. That's what it seemed like from the clips they showed, and Masooma kept lapsing into English when speaking, as though she was used to rehearsing answers in that language.

The interviewer told her: that's all very nice, but did you know that some people criticized the whole function as unIslamic?

I think the Iranian lady basically rolled her eyes at that point and said: we were all wearing hijabs, the whole thing was Islamic. I don't know why people would call it unIslamic.

Then the interviewer said: I know people watching are thinking, you speak very good Arabic.
Masooma said: oh, I hope so!
The interviewer: Indeed you do. Where did you learn it?
She said: in Iran, we learn Arabic in school, but only in so far as to read the Quran. Then I lived in Dubai for two years, but my social circle consisted of only other Iranians, so I did not improve my Arabic a lot. When I returned to Iran, I started listening to Arabic music and watching Arabic TV, and that was how I learned.

She added one more thought at the end that made the interviewer smile cheesily:


"I wanted to say to anyone learning Arabic today that I think Arabic is a very beautiful language. I love Arabic, whatever the accent: the Lebanese accent, the Egyptian accent, the Gulf accent, and foreign accents. And I hope Inshallah one day that all of us will be brothers and sisters to each other!

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