You have to love the juxtaposition.
Congratulations to 24 year old Michigan beauty Ms. Rifa Fakih, shown on the left above. She, an Arab immigrant from Lebanon, was crowned Miss USA yesterday. My hats off to her - and one must wonder how long it will be until she gets her first fatwah.
Rifa of course would never have had a chance to compete in a beauty contest were she in the Arab nations of the Middle East. A "Ms. Burkah" contest would incredibly hard to judge. Instead, in Abu Dhabi, men from all over the Arab nations come together annually to view the equally popular Ms. Camel contest. Pictured above is last year's winner, outfitted in winner's garb befitting her beguiling beauty.
Surprisingly, though, there is apparently much similarity in judging beauty contests, whether they be of women or camel. This from National Geographic explains:
But the judges in Abu Dhabi view camels with different eyes, scrutinizing them from nose to tail and back again, evaluating each according to strict criteria. Her ears must be firm. Her back high, her hump large and symmetrical. A rump that's not too big, with just enough room for a saddle. The hair, of course, must shine. A good head is massive. Her nose should have a strong arch in the bridge, sloping toward a bottom lip that hangs down like a bauble. A long neck appeals. As do long legs. And the judges examine the two toes of the feet, looking for what their guidelines call "toe-parting length."
Because so many beauty pageants, in the end, do come down to cleavage.