by Terri Saunders
OTTAWA – When Maria Al-Masani was a little girl growing up in Yemen, she would often find herself glued to her family’s TV watching beauty pageants from around the world.
“Here I was, a girl in a very conservative country, wearing a niqab and watching these beautiful women in these ball gowns walk around the stage,” said Al-Masani. “How could I have thought at that time it would be me someday?”
In June, the 26-year-old public relations officer will become the first Yemeni Canadian to participate in the Miss Universe Canada pageant in Toronto.
She’ll join 49 women from Ottawa and around the country to compete for a chance to represent Canada at the next Miss Universe Pageant being held in Las Vegas this fall.