Lebanese beauty queen stripped of title over Israel visit

Lebanon's Minister of Tourism decided she should be punished for visiting Israel last year


A Lebanese beauty pageant winner has been stripped of her title after organisers discovered she had visited Israel.

Amanda Hanna, who is part Swedish, won the Miss Lebanon Emigrant title earlier this month. However, the Festival of Lebanese Emigrants then discovered she had used her Swedish passport to go to Israel last year on an academic trip.

Speaking to Al Modon, a Lebanese newspaper, the organisers said that “after communicating… with Lebanon's Minister of Tourism, he decided that Hanna should be stripped of her title because her visit to Israel violates our country's laws.”

Lebanon has a complete cultural boycott on Israel. Israeli citizens are not allowed into the country, and Lebanese citizens cannot visit Israel. Any contact with Israelis is illegal.

This is not the first time a Lebanese beauty contestant has got into trouble for interacting with Israelis. In 2015 Miss Lebanon, Sally Greig, almost lost her title after appearing in a photo together with Miss Israel. She later claimed that the Israeli contestant, Doron Matalon, had forced herself into the photo at the last second, a claim which Ms Matalon has strongly denied.

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