Historic: Saudi Arabia to participate in Miss Universe for the first time

It was never allowed in the Kingdom before.

29 Mar 2024 04:36pm
Rumy Alqahtani. Photo source: @rumy_alqahtarani Instagram
Rumy Alqahtani. Photo source: @rumy_alqahtarani Instagram

SHAH ALAM – Rumy Alqahtani, a Saudi Arabian representative for the upcoming Miss Universe to be held in Mexico, would be the first person from Saudi Arabia to defy the odds when it comes to entering a big pageant contest such as Miss Universe, since it was never allowed in the state before.

Currently 27 years old, Rumy is not unfamiliar with the spotlight since she has contested multiple international pageant competitions before this, such as Miss Saudi Arabia, Miss Middle East, Miss Arab World Peace and even the one in Malaysia called Miss and Mrs Global Asian pageant, according to the Independent.

The beauty with a brain held a bachelor's degree in dentistry but decided to become a content creator instead, apart from being a Riyadh-born model.

On her Instagram, Rumy expressed her proud moment through pictures of her wearing a sash with 'Miss Universe Saudi Arabia' written on it, followed by a picture of her holding the Saudi Arabia flag and a crown accessory.

"I am honoured to participate in the Miss Universe International 2024 competition.

“This marks the first participation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Miss Universe pageant,” the post read.

Reactions from the public vary from support to criticism on the Kingdom’s first participation in the pageant.

Instagram user @mr.muzammil4242 stated that that such occasion was one of the 72 signs of Qayamat (the end of the world), while proceeding to state 46 examples of signs.

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User @wyna_lee said that it was a shame for Saudi Arabia to join the pageant.

“What a shame! Saudi Arabia is the one and only holy place on earth,” she said.

Another user @zabishah_m also spoke out in the comment section in an attempt to remind another Muslim sister about "transgressing against Allah's command" and showing disrespect to the religion.

Meanwhile, @renzmcbarn said he was proud of the Kingdom for making the move.

“Wow it’s time to rise up Saudi Arabia, so proud of Saudi Arabia. It's the time to show the world or universe rather,” he said.

Ever since Saudi Arabia was ruled by Mohammed Bin Salman Al-Saud, many activities had been liberated for women.

Women could now do many things independently without needing a male figure, such as acquiring a passport, going to a concert or sporting event, and having the right to drive.

This leads to many conservative Islamists emerging from the dark to criticise the issue of allowing a Saudi Arabian woman to expose their aurat (parts of the body that must be covered in Islam) such as the hair and the body.