Yityish (Titi) Aynaw, the first Ethiopian-born woman to be crowned Miss Israel, is attracting media attention in her homeland as well, with intense coverage by Ethiopian newspapers, websites, television and radio stations.
The Israeli Embassy in Addis Ababa issued a press release about the beauty pageant and the precedent set by its winner. The Embassy is planning to use the win as part of a PR campaign for Israel, which will include posting Aynaw’s pictures on billboards across Ethiopia.
Sharing excitement of Ethiopian aliyah / David Shear
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The Embassy is also initiating an unusual move: Sending a text message to every cell phone in Ethiopia to announce the crowning of an Ethiopian beauty queen in Israel.
In addition, the Embassy intends on inviting Aynaw to the traditional Independence Day reception as the guest of honor from Israel.
The Embassy is also marketing the victory of Ethiopian athletes in the Jerusalem marathon – with another positive reference to Israel.
Israeli Ambassador to Ethiopia Belaynesh Zevadia, who set a precedent herself by becoming the first Israeli ambassador of Ethiopian descent, said: “I welcome the selection of a beautiful girl of Ethiopian descent.
“It’s heartwarming to see Israel and the world exposed to the beauty of the Ethiopian community in Israel. It is a beautiful community in every sense of the word.”
Israel’s Deputy Ambassador to Ethiopia Leo Vinovezky said that the crowning of an Ethiopian immigrant as Miss Israel had created great media interest. “The social networks are full of reports about the win. The Ethiopians feel it is their accomplishment too. This is the Ethiopian Jewry’s finest hour.”
Despite the enthusiasm, not all media reports were necessarily positive. Several media outlets in Ethiopia wrote that Aynaw’s win was particularly exciting in light of the fact that Ethiopian immigrants suffer from discrimination in Israel and sometimes experience hostility.