The first beauty contest to be held since the end of the civil war was staged at the St.
The first beauty contest to be held since the end of the civil war was staged at the St. Therese-Playa beach in Lebanon on Saturday (4 June). The event was yet another indication that life seems to be returning to normal after more than a year of strife.
SYNOPSIS: Ten girls took part in the contest which was organised to select a Lebanese representative for this year's Miss Universe contest. That's being staged in the United States this month.
A display of belly dancing preceded the judging. For many Lebanese women this event signalled a return to more traditional roles. Hundreds of them had volunteered for extensive training to fight alongside their menfolk during the war.
Seventeen-year-old Hiam Saadeh was chosen by the judges as "Miss Lebanon".
But observers in Beirut, the Lebanese capital, say that while there seems to have been a remarkable recovery, the impression that the country is booming is a false one. They say Lebanon desperately needs cash to boost the economy and finance plans for reconstruction. Meanwhile, the Lebanese people are trying to forget the war with such events as the "Miss Lebanon" contest.