Vida Samadzai

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Vida Samadzai
Vida samadzai2.jpg
Vida Samadzai performing at a Water Kingdom event in May 2012
Born February 22, 1978
Khost Province, Afghanistan
Residence United States
Nationality Afghan-American
Citizenship United States

Vida Samadzai (born February 22, 1978) was Miss Afghanistan in 2003. As the first Afghan woman to participate in an international beauty pageant since 1974, her appearance in a red bikini in the 2003 edition of Miss Earth pageant created controversy in her native country.[1][2] She also entered in the fifth season of the reality television show Bigg Boss.[3]

Biography[edit]

Samadzai, an ethnic Pashtun, was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, and moved to the United States in 1996. She graduated from California State University at Fullerton and became a citizen of the U.S.[4][5] Samadzai also helped found a US-based women's charity that seeks to raise awareness of women's rights and education in the Afghanistan.[6]

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.[7][8][9][10][11]

The following year, Samadzai returned to the pageant and 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".

Awards and achievements[edit]

On May 1, 2005, Vida Samadzai won the Ms. America 2005-06 pageant.[12][dead link]

Reality television[edit]

As Contestant
Year Show Place Channel
2011
Bigg Boss (season 5)
11th Place
Evicted Day 49
Colors

References[edit]