Away from politics, President-less Lebanon crowns a new queen

Published October 24th, 2016 - 08:14 GMT
And the winner is... (
And the winner is... (

Sandy Tabet defeated 13 contestants to be crowned Miss Lebanon 2016 Saturday night at Casino du Liban by former Miss Lebanon, Valerie Abou Chacra.

Tabet was selected by a jury of nine Lebanese personalities from diverse fields, including designer Zuhair Murad, actress Adriana Karembeu, and Richard Pharaon, CEO of entertainment company We-Group.

The 20-year-old Tabet was born in Bhamdoun but now lives in Antelias and studied at Universite Saint-Joseph. In her opening statement, she expressed her passion for helping children with autism.

When the jury asked what each contestant would do first if elected president, Tabet responded that she would end Lebanon’s trash crisis, calling it a “black cloud” that would “soon go away.”

The runners-up of this year’s Miss Lebanon competition included Maribelle Tarabay and Andrea Haykal.

We-Group COE Pharaon praised the organization and handling of the event, pointing to its nationwide appeal: “It is an exceptional event and very well organized by the Tourism Ministry in Lebanon. All Lebanese are interested in following [the competition].”

But not all the attention has been positive. Throughout the contest, Tabet was not considered a crowd favorite. Many took to social media to criticize the contestant, claiming others were more qualified. During her crowning, critics again made their presence known, openly expressing their distaste over the selection.

Anthony Bejjani chose Twitter to express his thoughts. “If Sandy Tabet is brave enough to try out for Miss Lebanon [and win], you’re brave enough to ask your crush out,” he posted Saturday evening.

Yet others came to her defense, calling out her internet detractors. “Sandy Tabet is prettier than 99% of the girls who are making fun of her #misslebanon2016,” Ali Mokalled tweeted in response to the negativity.

24-year-old Chacra, a former Miss Lebanon, participated in Miss World 2015, finishing as the third runner-up. The Beirut native, a graduate of television and radio studies at the Lebanese American University, was the first Lebanese woman to place in the top five of the Miss World pageant.

Tabet is expected to participate in the upcoming Miss World competition this December in Washington.


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