Yityish Aynaw. Inspired by Martin Luther King Photo: Elad Gershgorn
Ethiopian olah crowned Miss Israel 2013
Former IDF officer Yityish (Titi) Aynaw, 21, is first Ethiopian-born woman to win Israeli beauty pageant. 'There are many colors in Israel and it's important to show it to the world,' she says on stage
VIDEO - Yityish (Titi) Aynaw, 21, of Netanya, was crowned Miss Israel 2013 on Wednesday night. She is the first Ethiopian-born woman who has won the beauty pageant.
In response to a question by one of the contest's judges, the new beauty queen said: "It's important to have a first (beauty) queen from the Ethiopian community. Israel
has many ethnic groups and many colors, and it's important to show it to the world."
Yityish, which means "a look to the future" Amharic, served as an officer in the IDF and now runs a fashion store. She immigrated to Israel at the age of 12.
"My aliyah was pretty tough," she said. "A new language, a modern society. I'm lucky to have had a friend, Noa, who befriended me from the start and helped me out. I didn't study in a ulpan. I was thrown into the deep water and learned the best that way."
Asked during the competition which historical character had influenced her the most, she mentioned Martin Luther King: "He fought for justice and equality, and that's one of the reasons I'm here – to show that there are also good things in my community, which are not presented in the media.
"I see it as a mission to represent Israel's different colors. There are not enough dark-skinned models in Israel.
"I hope to become a successful model thanks to the contest and create a change in the perception of dark-skinned models. I would be happy to be the first Ethiopian television host, an Israeli Tyra Banks."