WION Web Team Delhi, India
Aug 24, 2017, 09.10 AM
Swedish-Lebanese Amanda Hanna who won Miss Lebanon Emigrant 2017 earlier this month has been stripped of her title after it was reported that she made a visit to Israel. According to local media, this happened just after a week of her winning the title.
As part of a statement given by The Festival of Lebanese Emigrants in Dhour Al Choueir to newspaper Al Modon: “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."
The organisers told her that she was no longer allowed to hold the position as she made a visit to neighbouring Israel using her Swedish passport on an academic trip in 2016.
Lebanon and Israel are in a state of war, although the border between the two has remained quiet since the last direct conflict in 2006.
In Lebanon there is a blanket ban on any trade or cultural products from the Jewish state, citizens are banned from travelling there, and Israeli citizens cannot visit. Contact with Israelis is also illegal and can carry jail time.
The organisers of The Festival of Lebanese Emigrants are yet to announce whether the competition's runner-up will now inherit the crown.
The incident is not the first time Lebanon’s anti-Israel laws have caused a problem for beauty contestants. In 2015's Miss Universe competition, Miss Lebanon almost lost her title when a photo of her posing with Miss Israel, Miss Japan and Miss Slovenia went viral online. Miss Lebanon, at that time, said that Miss Israel had pestered her for a photograph throughout the contest.