Family encouraged me to win title, says British Muslim Miss England

DUBAI — “I overcame many hurdles, with the encouragement of my family to win the title,” said Hammasa Kohistani, the first British Muslim to clinch the title of Miss England.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Tue 28 Mar 2006, 9:58 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:35 PM

In a meeting with the Press at the Dubai Press Club yesterday, the Miss England expressed her desire to open a charity organisation in Afghanistan, a country to which she originally belongs.

''I wish to promote education among women and girls of my age in Afghanistan,'' said the 19-year-old who has never been to Afghanistan since she left it 14 years ago.

''People say I have made history and that is what is important for me. My family has always supported me in my endeavours,'' she said.

Speaking about whether Afghani men would welcome her if she visited Afghanistan, she said, “I have received letters of appreciation from men, especially those based in refugee camps in Pakistan.

“I have made a difference for them because my community is a minority in England. But I cannot say the same for all men. Dubai is a multi-cultural and cosmopolitan society, and I am honoured to be here,” said Hammasa who has been invited by Nakheel Properties to attend the Dubai World Cup.

Hammasa says that the pageant has changed her life dramatically. ''Hard times come and go. There is no time for sexism.” We have to work together as a team (men and women),'' she says, displaying wisdom much beyond her years.

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