The second Miss Arab World Contest has taken off in Egypt, with the participation of some 19 contestants.
According to the organising committee at a press conference here Wednesday, the candidates to the contest came from 16 Arab countries, including Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan, Iraq, Libya and Palestine.
<b1>The competition is one of the major attractions of the second Arab Tourism Festival, which also opened here Wednesday.
The jury consists of fashion, beauty and tourism experts as well as academies. The finalists were chosen from more than 10,000 participants who registered through the Internet.
The final result of the contest is expected Friday evening.
Ghada Hassan, 19, a girl from Saudi Arabia and a business student in an academy in Egypt, told reporters that she had become the first Saudi girl to attend the contest, expressing her excitement and gratitude to the organising committee.
In a short-sleeve blouse and long trousers and without a veil, Hassan said that her family and relatives opposed her participation at first but agreed later.
The first Miss Arab World Contest was held in Egypt's Red Sea resort Sharm el-Sheikh July 26 to 29, 2006, with the title of Miss Arab World 2006 going to Nadia Bin Fadla from Tunisia. But this was retracted later because Fadla had reportedly failed to abide by the competition rules.