Miss Pakistan 2008 Crowned in Toronto
Miss Pakistan World 2008 with brother Shah-Rukh Paracha and sister Rabia Paracha
Last Friday Natasha Paracha of Islamabad was crowned Miss Pakistan World 2008 at the Versailles Convention Center in Mississauga, Ontario. She will represent Pakistan in several international pageants
The event brought young Pakistani women from around the world to compete for what could be considered the most controversial crown in the pageant world. The event focuses on beauty, talent and cultural strength while allowing the young women to feel a part of the mainstream rather than being ostracized from the Western world. For six years, founder and Creative Director of the pageant, Sonia Ahmed has seen the beauty and entertainment world begin to embrace her community in a very quick and robust fashion.
Ahmed comments, “Pakistani women have always felt compelled to stay in the background. They have never had the same opportunities to create a voice and stand for what they believe in. It was only after living in Canada that I realized that women really do have the power to make a difference and make a change. You see it every day here (in Canada) and I hope that the women of Pakistan begin to see that as part of their reality soon.”
The new Miss Pakistan World, 23 year-old Natasha Paracha is an honors graduate from the University of California, Berkley and is currently living in New York City. Paracha founded both the Pakistani Students Association at UC Berkley as well as a non-profit organization NGO – Vision of Development. The NGO was founded after she visited villages in rural Pakistan and recognized the need for providing basic resources and opportunities. Vision of Development works to implement basic educational programs as well as tools to empower women throughout rural Pakistan.
The pageant also saw other winners: The Vimi Spa Miss Photogenic was awarded to Mehvish Sheikh from Lahore, Parissa Miss Smooth Skin was awarded to Binish Zaidi from Karachi, Sherwood Miss Congeniality was awarded to Tahira Iqbal from Lahore, Miss Perfect Ten was awarded to Samera Bilal from Gujrat and Miss Talent was awarded to Binish Zaidi from Karachi. The runnerups were: fourth runner up Tahira Iqbal from Lahore, thirrd runner up Nosheen Idrees from Jhelum, seconnd runner up Binish Zaidi from Karachi, and first Runner up Samera Bilal from Gujrat, Pakistan. All of these title winners will be representing Pakistan internationally.
The judges were: Asif Jamal (Karachi, Pakistan) events manager and consultant, Chetna Patel (owner of Vimi Spa), Mr. Kamal Zafar (Lahore, Pakistan an orthopedic doctor), Kishore Patel (immigration consultant) and Joyce Haist (from the National Bank of Canada).