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Amanda Hanna (L)
Lebanon's beauty queen loses title for visiting Israel
After it was reported that Amanda Hanna, the winner of the 2017 Miss Lebanon Emigrant Beauty Pageant—visited Israel in 2016, Lebanon's Minister of Tourism decides to strip her of her title over her violation of Lebanon's boycott of Israel.

Amanda Hanna, who won the 2017 Miss Lebanon Emigrant Beauty Pageant, has been stripped of her title over her 2016 visit to Israel.

 

 

Hanna, who is Swedish-Lebanese, visited Israel as part of an academic tour, using her Swedish passport to enter the state. She lost her title just a week after winning it.

 

Amanda Hanna (L) after her win
Amanda Hanna (L) after her win

 

"After communicating our decision with Lebanon's Minister of Tourism, he decided that Hanna should be stripped of her title because her visit to Israel violates our country's laws," a statement from the pageant's organizing committee said.

 

According to the Independent, the organizers have not yet announced whether the second-place winner will claim Hanna's spot.

 

On August 14, after winning the pageant, Hanna published a post on Facebook in which she thanked her supporters.

 

“At first I was skeptical about it, but it turned out that I was wrong," Hanna wrote. "It has been one of the best weeks of my life, where I have, among other things, had to go around in Lebanon & visit wonderful places. I've gotten to know people who have come to stand close to me & I have developed in particular as a person. It has been a wonderful trip & I am incredibly happy that I participated."

 

Hanna (R) with friends at Ben Gurion Airport, Israel in 2016
Hanna (R) with friends at Ben Gurion Airport, Israel in 2016

 

Lebanon has a cultural ban on Israel, which it considers an enemy state, and prohibits its citizens from traveling there and from Israeli citizens from entering the state.

 

Lebanon has even banned the movie Wonder Woman over its lead actor being an Israeli citizen and a former IDF soldier. Furthermore, this is not the first Israel-Lebanon incident that takes place against the backdrop of beauty contests.

 

During the Miss Universe contest in 2015, Miss Lebanon almost lost her title after social networks called for her to be punished following a selfie in which Miss Israel, Doron Matalon, was also present.

 

At the time. Miss Lebanon, Saly Greige, claimed Matalon had harassed her with selfie requests during the competition.

 

"Since the first day of my arrival to participate to Miss Universe, I was very cautious to avoid being in any photo or communication with Miss Israel, who tried several times to take a photo with me,” Greige said.

 

“I was having a photo with Miss Japan and Miss Slovenia, (when) suddenly Miss Israel jumped in and took a selfie, and uploaded it on her social media.”

 

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