Mar 2 2013
Former IDF officer Yityish (Titi) Aynaw, 21, an Ethiopian-born woman, is crowned ‘Miss Israel’ in an Israeli beauty pageant. ‘There are many colors in Israel and it’s important to show it to the world,’ she says.
YNET NEWS In response to a question by one of the contest’s judges, the new beauty queen said: “It’s important to have a first (beauty) queen from the Ethiopian community. Israel has many ethnic groups and many colors, and it’s important to show it to the world.” Her remark received a warm round of applause from the audience at the Haifa Congress Center.
Yityish, which means “a look to the future” Amharic, served as an officer in the IDF and now runs a fashion store. She immigrated to Israel at the age of 12.
“My aliyah (move to Israel) was pretty tough,” she said. “A new language, a modern society. I’m lucky to have had a friend, Noa, who befriended me from the start and helped me out. I didn’t study in a ulpan. I was thrown into the deep water and learned the best that way.”
Asked during the competition which historical character had influenced her the most, she mentioned Martin Luther King: “He fought for justice and equality, and that’s one of the reasons I’m here – to show that there are also good things in my community, which are not presented in the media.”I see it as a mission to represent Israel’s different colors.
“I hope to become a successful model thanks to the contest and create a change in the perception of dark-skinned models. I would be happy to be the first Ethiopian television host, an Israeli Tyra Banks.”