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Miss Universe GB: Farhia will be first to wear headscarf

TAKING ON THE UNIVERSE: Farhia Ali is competing for the Miss Universe Great Britain title (Photo: @Hanna.dahir)

A WOMAN from London will be the first contestant to wear a headscarf in the Miss Universe Great Britain competition when she competes in the final this summer.

Farhia Ali, who was born in Somalia and moved to Britain as a child will be one of 40 contestants from England, Scotland and Wales competing for the Miss Universe Great Britain title in South Wales in July.

The winner will go on to represent Great Britain at the Miss Universe competition.

Ali, 24, is a practicing Muslim and sees the Miss Universe Great Britain competition as an opportunity to celebrate the diversity and inclusivity of the UK.

She said: “I feel that now more than ever it is important for women to feel valued in this world. Being a woman of colour, I have used this desire to push me to achieve excellence in everything that I do. Moving to Great Britain as a young child provided me with endless opportunities.

"I often travel back to Kenya where most of my family live and seeing the devastation in the rural areas showed me that living in the UK our education, wellbeing and future are prioritised. The importance of education has motivated me to want a better education for young women, young mothers and victims of FGM and forced marriages.”

FINALIST: Farhia says the competition is an opportunity to celebrate the diversity and inclusivity of the UK (Photo: @Hanna.dahir)

Ali, who works as a business account manager, also spends much of her time doing voluntary and community work both in the UK and Kenya.

“During my time off, I try to volunteer as much as I can to spend time in women and children centre in Africa. This incredible time helps learn about myself, from others and provides me with an opportunity to use my skills and qualities to support others. I feel empowered everyday by the endless opportunities that I have as a woman part of such multicultural community,” she said.

“By winning the Miss Universe Great Britain crown, I would stand stronger to support women to defeat the manifestation of female genital mutilation, spread the importance of self-love and female empowerment. My goal is for young girls and women to see that in life hard work, believing in yourself and perseverance will give you the ultimate prize,” Ali added.

Having been chosen as a finalist, Farhia has been challenged to fundraise for the Miss Universe Great Britain’s charitable partner called A-Sisterhood, a not-for-profit organisation supporting a variety of female related causes in the UK and overseas. These include Stop Acid Attacks in India, the National FGM Centre in the UK, Smalls for All in Scotland, which provides underwear to women and girls in Africa, Llamau, a Wales based charity helping homeless women who are often the victims of domestic abuse, and The Black Mambas, South Africa’s first all-female anti-poaching unit protecting the rhino.

Last year Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers became the first black woman to win the Miss Universe Great Britain crown.

The law graduate and former professional athlete won the title in the same month that she qualified as a barrister.

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