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Miss USA Rima Fakih makes history

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Image by petersbar via FlickrOn May 16, 2010 Rima Fakih made history when she became the first Muslim ever to win the Miss USA crown. Fakih, a Lebanese American, is from Dearborn, Michigan, where she won the Miss Michigan crown in September 2009. She will go on to represent the United States internationally this summer in the Miss Universe pageant.

After confidently modeling an orange and gold bikini, stumbling in a strapless white gown, and advocating health insurance coverage of birth control pills, Fakih won the title of Miss USA at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

As winner of the Miss USA 2010 pageant, Fakih will replace the 2009 winner Kristin Dalton. In addition to competing in the Miss Universe pageant, she will get an undisclosed salary, a one year lease on a New York City apartment, as well as coverage of living, beauty, and health expenses.

Rima Fakih was a finalist in the Miss USA pageant along with first runner-up Miss Oklahoma Morgan Elizabeth Woolard, who shocked the audience during her interview response in support of the new Arizona immigration law.

A 2008 graduate of the University of Michigan- Dearborn, Fakih earned a degree in Economics and Business Management. She sold her car after she graduated in order to enter the Miss Michigan pageant. No stranger to pageants, the 24-year old beauty queen has also won the title of Miss Lebanon USA. She is the first Miss Michigan to win the Miss USA pageant since Kenya Moore in 1993.

Supporter and Arab American Zouheir Alawieh said, “this is the real face of Arab Americans, not the stereotypes you hear about. We have culture. We have beauty. We have history, and today we made history. … She believed in her dreams.”

Image by petersbar via Flickr.

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