The latest championship between beauty gurus and professionals in Russia brought an unusual sight, when an Israeli and an Iranian participant shared a podium after both finished second in the prestigious competition.
The third International Open Championship CMC in hairdressing, make-up and nail-art took place last week in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg.
As the two contenders stood side by side on the podium, the crowd erupted in cheers as they held up the flags of their respective countries simultaneously.
"Beauty trumped animosity," said Moti and Rafael Rubin who jointly headed the Israeli hairstylist's organization, "seeing such a friendship between Iranians and Israelis is a rare occurrence and a moving experience."
The Iranian and Israeli teams found out they would be working in the same work room at an early stage of the competition. But, after some initial tension, the Iranian team leader grabbed his Israeli counterpart, hugged him, planted a kiss on his cheek and said, "we love you guys."
From that moment on, all barriers fell, and the team members began forging warm friendships.
"They have good methods and their style is advanced," one Israeli stylist said. "It showed us how they work around the restrictions imposed by the Revolutionary Guard Corps to give their customers the best look possible."
One Iranian hairstylist confided in her Israeli counterpart that she had lost touch with a Jewish family she knew that had escaped Iran and probably relocated to Israel. She wondered whether there was any way to contact them and send warm regards.
The Israeli team members said the Iranians expressed interest in learning about life in Israel and agreed the animosity caused by their respective leaders was a shame.
The Israeli team returned home having won first, second and third prizes in six different categories.