First Muslim Crowned Miss England
Hijri 1407-Present (AH); Common Era 1987-Present (CE)
Hammasa Kohistani, was the first beauty contestant of Muslim origin to be crowned Miss England, at the age of 18. She was crowned following a two-day competition at Liverpool's Olympia Theatre and was chosen from among 40 contestants. After her parents were forced to flee Afghanistan, they immigrated to Tashkent in central Uzbekistan, where Ms. Kohistani was born. She speaks six languages including Russian and her mother-tongue Persian. Ethnically, she is a Tajik from Afghanistan. She won the competition dressed in an ivory white chiffon and silk ball gown, which had been designed and made by her mother. She later said: "When they announced that I had won I thought I had misheard. I hoped they hadn't, but it took a second to sink in." She is known as Miss Maya after the Asian fashion house that sponsored her and has reportedly been offered a part in a forthcoming Bollywood movie. She has also graced the cover of Asiana Magazine in 2004.