|Born||Mariyah Ashraf Moten
18 January 1984
Mariyah was born in Karachi, Pakistan. She moved to the US with her family at the age of 5 and currently resides in the United States. Mariyah Moten graduated from University of Houston in with a degree in hotel management.
After placing Top 5 at the Miss Pakistan World, and then the Miss Pakistan World pageant sent Moten to represent Pakistan at the Miss Tourism Queen International pageant in 2006, where she won the Miss Charity Title among 87 other contestants. Later that year she competed in the Miss Bikini of the Universe pageant which was held in Beihai, China. This created an outrage among the Muslim community in Pakistan and all around the world. This was the first time a Pakistani girl has participated in a bikini pageant representing the Islamic nation. Due to this controversy, Mariyah Moten won the Best In Media/Miss Press title for being the most photographed and interviewed contestant in the entire pageant.
A year later in 2007 Mariyah Moten participated in another pageant, Miss Asia International 2007 where she won 2nd Runner up, a huge victory for Pakistan since this was the first time Pakistan placed in the Top 3 at an international beauty contest In September 2009, Mariyah represented Pakistan in the Miss Intercontinental which took place in Minsk, Belarus. Miss Afghanishtan, Zallascht Sadat, also took part in this beauty pageant making it the first time for two Muslim contestants to take part in beauty pageant during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The finals were held at the Football Manege Arena in Minsk. The 38th annual pageant was attended by the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko and was shown live all over Europe by ONT TV. Mariyah Moten continues to model in the US and has attended the New York Film Academy Acting School to pursue an acting career.
In 2006, Mariyah Moten received criticism from Pakistani government officials for using the title Miss Pakistan Bikini. This was the first time a Pakistani girl participated in an international bikini beauty pageant overcoming the traditional barriers of the conservative Islamic nation. Muslim leaders showed outrage when she won Best in Media. "We have asked our missions in Washington and Beijing to investigate this because it is against our policy, culture and religion." Senior Culture Ministry official Abdul Hafeez Chaudhry said. "She is an American passport holder. She is an American national of Pakistani origin, so how did she get entry as a Pakistani?" Chaudhry's statements only brought about more controversy in the media and threats to remove Pakistani passport holders living abroad their legal right to travel within Pakistan without the use of a travel visa.
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-  The Asian Today
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