Samadzai, an ethnic Pashtun, was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, and moved to the U.S. in 1996. She is a student at California State University, Fullerton and has a double major in Advertising and Speech Communications.She speaks five languages fluently and is involved with helping the Afghan Refugees in Pakistan. Her life ambition is to work for the United Nations and be a leader and helper for Afghan women whose rights were suppressed for over a decade.
Samadzai said her participation in the contest sent out a powerful message to her fellow countrywomen. Samadzai also helped found a US-based women's charity that seeks to raise awareness of women's rights and education in the Afghanistan.
She was the second Miss Afghanistan to take part in a beauty contest since Zohra Daoud was crowned Miss Afghanistan in 1974. Her participation in the Miss Earth beauty pageant in 2003 was condemned by the Afghan Supreme Court, saying such a display of the female body goes against Islamic law and Afghan culture. In particular, traditionalists objected to her appearance in a red bikini during the pageant's press presentation. She was given a special "Beauty for a Cause" award at that year's Miss Earth competition.
Her participation in the beauty contest can be considered to be a sharp contrast to the beliefs of the former Taliban regime, which demanded that women wear coverings, or burqas, from head to toe whenever they went out in public.
The following year, Samadzai returned to the Philippines. She was among the 11 jurors who helped choose Priscilla Meirelles as Miss Earth 2004; on coronation night, the young women’s rights activist wore a gown, saying: “I don’t know if they’ll have a problem this time because I’m not showing any skin or wearing a swimsuit”.
On May 1, 2005, Vida Samadzai won the Ms. America ® 2005-06 Pageant.
Warriors and 'peace-weavers' ; Continuing our series of articles on Anglo-Saxon Tamworth, we look this week at the role of women in Saxon society and profile one of the most powerful and successful women of the age, Aethelflaed - Lady of the Mercians
Dec 17, 2009; THE old English word 'wif ', although obviously the forerunner of our word 'wife' did not mean someone who was married. Wifs were...