Mixed reactions as Saudi Arabian woman Rumy Alqahtani joins Miss Universe Beauty Pageant in historic first

In a historic milestone, Rumy Alqahtani, a Saudi Arabian woman, is set to participate in the 2024 Miss Universe Beauty Pageant, marking the first time a contestant from Saudi Arabia will be competing in the prestigious event.

This significant development marks a milestone in the reforms spearheaded by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, reflecting the country’s progress towards greater inclusivity and openness.

The 27-year-old Riyadh-born Alqahtani expressed her excitement and gratitude on Instagram for the opportunity, emphasizing the importance of Saudi Arabia’s historic debut at the beauty pageant.

With this announcement, Alqahtani follows in the footsteps of Bahrain’s Lujane Yacoub, who participated in the previous year’s Miss Universe pageant, marking the first appearance of a contestant from the conservative Gulf region.

The upcoming Miss Universe competition is scheduled to take place in Mexico on September 18 and will also witness Iran’s debut.

Alqahtani holds a Bachelor’s degree in dentistry and is proficient in multiple languages, including English, French, and Arabic, as reported by The Independent.

She boasts an impressive record of pageant achievements, having been crowned Miss Saudi Arabia, Miss Middle East (Saudi Arabia), Miss Arab World Peace 2021, and Miss Woman (Saudi Arabia). Additionally, she has participated in various global pageants, with her most recent being Miss and Mrs. Global Asian in Malaysia in February.

However, the announcement of her participation has sparked outrage and open criticism among conservative Muslims, particularly in Nigeria.

See reactions below;

@mpiredivine: Well, not surprising, their laws are easing up towards Women and more of this will happen going forward. 👀🤔.

@promoting_naija: But our own Muslims in Nigeria will frown against this,saying it’s against Islam.

@wahalaMann: Northern Nigeria left the group chat.

@FocuzIsaac: Saudi allowed her to dress like that? Ronaldo’s influence is massive 💪.

@Homiebishop:Muslim don dey fold

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