The controversial appointment of Miss Algeria: repudiated by her skin color
Since she was elected Miss Algeria, Khadija Ben Hamou (26) has been rained by insults for her skin color. A stark demonstration of racism still in force in the countries of
Miss Algeria poses with her crown Contest
The coronation of a black woman has provoked racist comments in a country governed by a white minority. She resists
Filipina Catriona Gray, Miss Universe 2018
Since she was elected Miss Algeria, Khadija Ben Hamou (26) has been rained by insults for her skin color. A stark demonstration of the racism still prevailing in the countries of North Africa towards its citizens of the southern provinces that the flaming queen of local beauty has responded without hesitation: " I'm not going back because of the people who criticize me ."
In her Instagram account, opened four days ago and with 15,000 followers attentive to their new adventures, Khadija has begun to show her model skills after sticking to the crown and the band that confirm her as Miss of the country that for two decades has presided over the octogenarian and ill Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
The young woman took the award just a week ago. It comes from Adrar, a vast province in the south of the country - the second largest in Algeria - which is home to about half a million inhabitants and borders the desert province of Tindouf - where the Sahrawi refugee camps are located - and the border of Mauritania and Mali An origin that Khadija shows with pride and that has aroused the suspicion and criticism of social networks.
Since his rise to fame, offensive comments have circulated on the internet mocking his nose or lips and forcing the organization of the contest to condemn the racism of those who consider it "too black" to represent the country in Miss World. "Miss Algeria deplores the racist behavior and the comments made by many people, we give you two photographs of our beloved Miss Algeria while they wait for the ones that will follow," the organizing committee said.
Khadija is not, however, the pioneer who has brought the contest closer to a more diverse image of the country. In 2005, Nassima Mokadem became the first black Algerian to win the trophy. Despite the antecedent, the reactions reveal the traces of discrimination. "Do not judge people without knowing them." There is no difference between being black and white, "the Miss replies.
"I am very honored to have achieved my dream and to represent my province, I encourage all the girls to participate in the contest", exhorts this employee of a restaurant that has become a symbol of a population that demands visibility. "I will continue my work and my path, I will show the critics who Khadija is."
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Miss Algérie 2019 @ sochic.bbh
A shared publication of Miss Algérie 2019 (@misskhadidjabenhamou) on Jan 6, 2019 at 4:14 PST
The young woman has decided not to ignore the insults of those who consider that it is not representative of the Algerian beauty. Instead of silencing them, he denounces them. "To those who censure me, I ask Allah to return them to the right path, and I thank those who encourage me to follow."
In recent years, the statements of the regime's top officials and the media have helped to spread and reinforce the racist discourse. Ministers and newspaper headlines have accused the "blacks" of expanding dirt, increasing unemployment, smuggling. The country is controlled by those born on the shores of the Mediterranean or in the border areas. More than 75% of Algerians come from the northern provinces. In the political elite, only one minister does not share a skin tone. The population of the southern areas feels marginalized and excluded from public life and denounces the scarcity of investment and development plans.
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A shared publication of Miss Algérie 2019 (@misskhadidjabenhamou) on Jan 7, 2019 at 4:02 PST
For those who celebrate their appearance on the scene, however, Khadija represents the opportunity to pay off a debt to the history and present of Algeria. Its freshness and its integrity are icons of a rich diversity not recognized. The Algerian journalist and writer Kamel Daoud outlined two years ago an analysis of the phenomenon: "For decades, the majority of Algerians treated blacks with a discreet coldness that has turned into violent rejection".
Khadija wants to take advantage of his media projection and his support for charity work to begin to change the face of his homeland and reconcile its inhabitants with the many faces of an extensive country of 42 million souls. "I represent the whole country, I won the contest and I also hope to be a good representative of the people from the south," he says.
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