A teenager who was born in Uzbekistan has become the first Muslim beauty contestant to be crowned Miss England.
Hammasa Kohistani, 18, said she was delighted to have been selected to represent England in the Miss World championships. She was born in Tashkent, central Uzbekistan, after her parents were forced to flee Afghanistan.
Ms Kohistani, who speaks six languages, including Russian, Persian and French, was chosen from a group of 40 entrants at the completion of the two-day competition.
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She was crowned on Saturday night following the two-day competition at Liverpool’s Olympia Theatre.
Dressed in an ivory white chiffon-and-silk ball gown designed and made by her mother, the teenager spoke of her joy at winning the title.
She said: “When they announced that I had won I thought I had misheard. I hoped I hadn’t, but it took a second to sink in.”
Asked about her feelings at being the first Muslim Miss England, she said: “I am making history and I’m very happy. Hopefully I won’t be the last.”
The student, who was known as Miss Maya after the Asian fashion house which sponsored her, has also been offered a part in a forthcoming Bollywood movie.
The Miss World championships will be held at the end of the year.