The following article was originally published in Rudaw.
TEHRAN,— Iranian Kurdish fashion designer Sonia Beytoushi says that she is willing to and confident that she can represent Iran in the next Miss Universe contest and being from Iran gives her the chance that other Kurdish women haven’t had for not having an independent state.
Beytoushi was crowned Miss Iran in the capital Tehran in 2016 though authorities deny allowing such an event, insisting that it was an informal affair.
“There is no doubt in my selection as Miss Iran,” Beytoushi told Rudaw in an interview. “It is true that the Iranian government does not allow such ceremonies but a private company has been holding the event for four years in a row.”
According to Beytoushi Miss Iran for 2014 was also another Kurdish girl named Shadi Osman.
“All Iranians see me as their beauty queen,” she said confidently.
Her next participation will be at Miss Grand International 2017 set to be held in Vietnam, which she hopes she will win.
“I’ve great support from the people of Kurdistan and Iran and that gives me energy and zeal,” says Beytoushi.
Beytoushi says that she is not concerned about Islamic or cultural rules and will respect the event’s dress code.
“Anyone participating in these kinds of events must also abide by its rules,” she said. “I will also do the same because there will be contestants from 125 countries and we may have to appear in swimsuits and bikinis and it is not for me to changes these rules.”
Beytoushi said that she hasn’t got into trouble with the authorities in Iran who often crack down on activities they deem un-Islamic or prevent participation of women in certain events.
“I haven’t had any trouble with the government because I haven’t done anything wrong,” she explained. “In Iran, if you don’t get involved in politics and do not mix art and politics you will not have any problems.”
For more photos of Sonia Beytoushi visit her Facebook.
This article originally appeared in Rudaw.