Last night, Lebanon and the Lebanese lovers in the Arab world forgot about the war next door (now on their own doorstep) as they tuned in to the annual cat parade from Miss Lebanon 2013, aired Live on LBC and LDC TV.
On September 1, 2013, 15 flawless women strutted and sashayed on stage to compete for the coveted title, but only one lucky lady was crowned Queen of the Year.
The final panel of 10 of the finest and fittest included a body beautiful line-up of Josette Marie Chehade, Wendy Maroun, Jose Rita Azize, Ella Ijbeh, Karen Ghrawi, Nay Riachy, Christina Dagher, Luciana Younes, Melissa Rahme, and Dania Kobeissy.
Yet there was hardly a claw out in sight - it was in the bag for one Karen Ghrawi the moment she stepped on stage
22-year-old Karen wowed judges and viewers with her impressive 175cm leggy figure, Hollywood smile, long lusterous black locks, mysterious dark eyes and warm spirit.
The young interior designer, now beauty pageant winner, enjoys swimming and dancing - which explain the toned attributes on her 58kg frame.
Last year’s Miss Lebanon, Rina Chibany had her brief moment in the sun, to pass on the baton. She handed down the weighty crown to the new winner who graciously accepted the national accolade - before an audience happy to fleetingly forget the suffering of Syria and the ominous war.
The price of beauty?
The newly crowned Miss Lebanon did not walk away empty-handed for her pains, nor were her prize monies donated to the latest surge of Syrian refugees. Among her string of gifts were a $300,000 house in Beit Misk, $53,000 Audi Q3, a $50,000 jewelry gift from Paolo Bongia, a $20,000 voucher from Aïshti. The Levantine lady is set to travel to Indonesia next week to represent Lebanon at Miss World 2013.
Better luck next time
First runner up this year: Jose Rita Azzizi. Second runner up: Christina Dagher. Third runner up: Dania Qubaisi. Fourth runner up: Nai Riyashi.
Tasked with tough decisions was a judging panel of nine beauty experts, across industries including media and politics. Proving that beauty is not just skin deep were judges Zuhair Murad, Muna Fares, Alan Oun, Mai Areeda, Michelle Hubais, Zalfa Poise, Marcel Ghanem, Joelle Bahlaq and Nayla Tueni.
It was a night of treats as Lebanese crooner, Assi al-Hilani, and winner of France’s “The Voice,” Anthony Toma both took to the stage to perform for some musical relief to the competition.
Above, the contest's best bits!