ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) - Sana Mahmoud from Halabja on Thursday evening was crowned Miss Kurdistan 2018 after beating out 13 other candidates across the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region.
In a lavish ceremony held in Erbil on December 20, 14 finalists competed in the beauty contest attended by local and foreign judges.
Both Kareiz, from Erbil, and Merian, from Sulaimani, were nominated as the first and second runner-ups.
This year, 107 women registered in the contest, with 84 of them interviewed and only 14 making it through to the competition.
In 2017, the contest was not held in the Kurdistan Region because of political instability following the Oct. 16 attack and military takeover by Iraqi forces and Shia militias on disputed territories, and threats issued to the Kurdistan Region in general.
The first beauty pageant winner in the Kurdistan Region was Shene Aziz Ako, who was crowned Miss Kurdistan in 2012, followed by Fenk Mohammed in 2013, and Zhalia Sirwan in 2016.
At the height of the financial crisis and the fight against the Islamic State (IS) in 2014 and 2015, the contest was also postponed.
Editing by Nadia Riva