A beauty queen whose spare time is spent enjoying a form of hand-to-hand combat known for its combined use of fists, elbows, knees, shins? That could only be Miss Israel…
This week, as London prepared to host the final of the Miss World contest on Sunday, Thai boxing fan Mor Maman, 19, from Be’ersheva in Israel, lined up alongside some of the world’s most beautiful women in a sultry blue dress, emblazoned in the Star of David.
Yet Mor, an IDF soldier who also enjoys belly dancing, is not the pampered puss most people would expect.
“Four years ago, our life changed,” she said. “My mother fell down and lost her memory as a result of the fall. It was simply erased. I arrived at the hospital and she didn’t know who I was. I was angry at the entire world, I began neglecting myself, and then my father had a heart attack.”
She has also proved to be quite the patriot, posting photos of herself wearing IDF nail varnish and even listing Israeli start-up Waze as her favourite app in a personal Q&A.
She follows last year’s Miss Israel, Yityish Aynaw, whose family come from Ethiopia. The country’s first black representative in the competition, Aynaw also served in the IDF, and famously impressed President Obama, who met her on his visit to the Jewish state after his re-election.
This time round, Mor is looking to claim the crown for Israel for the second time, after Netanya-born Linor Abargil won the title in 1998, a year after she was raped by her travel agent, Uri Shlomo Nur, while she was in Milan. Last year, a documentary film, called ‘Brave Miss World,’ was made about her ordeal and subsequent activism.a