"I would like to make people aware that as Afghan women we are talented, intelligent and beautiful"

Vida Samadzai, Miss Afghanistan Earth 2003

Vida Samadzai made all kind of controversy and ovations of people for daring to wear a swimming suit in Miss Earth 2003 beauty pageant, in Manila, Philippines, the news across the world in a time where Taliban Culture was much known because of repression and human rights violation toward Afghan women.

Vida was born and raised in Afghanistan, but left for the United States in 1996 to escape the turmoil of civil war and the rise of the Taliban religious movement; She is a student at California State University - Fullerton and has a double major in Advertising and Speech Communications, She speaks five languages fluently and is involved with helping the Afghan Refugees in Pakistan.

However Afghanistan's first minister Habiba Surabi condemned to Vida Samadzai, saying that “appearing naked before a camera or television is not women's freedom but in my opinion is to entertain men,"
According Surabi, in Afghan culture women should not demonstrate their worth using their "beauty or bodies" but by their skills and knowledge.
"In the name of women's freedom, what this Afghan girl has done is not freedom but is lascivious," the minister said.

However Vida won the pageant’s first “beauty for a cause” award for her dedication and self-sacrifice as a volunteer fund-raiser and as a founder of an Afghan women's rights organization.

Vida Samadzai is the first Afghan in participate in a beauty pageant and the second "Miss Afghanistan" because 32 years ago Zohra Daoud, was elected in 1972, but she never compited in an international pageant.

Thank you Eduardo and Lestat (Mexico)

This anecdote is from the month: OCTOBER 2004

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