Miss Saudi Arabia Malak Youssef is forced to drop out of Miss Arab World pageant after intense online backlash from people in the ultra-conservative kingdom.
The news comes days after she was heavily attacked for taking part in the pageant, with many accusing her of misrepresenting Saudi Arabia.
The ultra-conservative kingdom doesn’t host an official national beauty pageant. Saudis had never heard of Youssef before news of her participation in the pageant started to make the rounds online.
According to Bawabat Al Ahram, the 24-year old was nominated by a Saudi civil society organization and is the second Saudi woman to participate in “Miss Arab World”.
Her short run at the pageant came eight years after Saudi Moda Nour competed at the same beauty contest and won its title in 2009.
The beauty queen announced the news on Twitter
In a video she posted on social media, Youssef explained the reasons behind her decision to quit the competition.
In the footage she shared – that has since been viewed more than 242,000 times – the beauty queen explained that she was shocked and saddened by the intense backlash.
Captioning her Twitter announcement, she wrote:
“I announce my withdrawal from the final competition rounds in ‘Miss Arab World 2018’. I am happy with just carrying the Miss Saudi Arabia title”.