A 21-year-old Israeli Christian Arab has won the first Miss Trans Israel pageant. Taleen Abu Hanna, a ballet dancer from the city of Nazareth, said her victory is “historic” and promotes equality.
“Our country deserves to come out on top,” Abu Hanna told reporters over the weekend. “Our country allowed me, a Christian Arab from Nazareth, to end the war between my soul and my body. So if it made peace for me, our country is only a country of peace.”
The contest took place at Habima Theater in Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv is considered one of the world’s best gay cities.
Abu Hanna also said that she is proud to be an Israeli Arab. “If I had not been in Israel and had been elsewhere — in the Palestinian Authority area or in any other Arab country — I might have been oppressed or I might have been in prison or murdered.”
Organizers of the beauty contest said the 12 contestants represented the mosaic of Israel’s ethnicities and religions. They hailed from across the country and included Moslem Arabs, Russian Jews, Christian Arabs, and former ultra-orthodox Jews.
Abu Hanna won $15,000 worth of plastic surgery treatments.
She will also represent Israel at the Miss Trans Star International pageant in Spain, marking the first time an Israeli will participate.