An Uzbekistan-born teenager has become the first ever Muslim girl to be crowned Miss England.
Hammasa Kohistani, 18, said she was delighted to have been selected to represent England in the Miss World championships.
She was born in Tashkent, central Uzbekistan, after her parents were forced to flee Afghanistan.
The brunette, who speaks six languages including Russian, Persian and French, looked ecstatic as the crown was placed on her head before a cheering crowd in Liverpool’s Olympia Theatre.
!<)missengland.jpg! She was selected from a group of 40 entrants following the two-day competition. Joy Dressed in an ivory white chiffon and silk ball gown designed and made by her mother, the teenager spoke of her joy at winning the title. She said: “When they announced that I had won I thought I had misheard. I hoped they hadn’t, but it took a second to sink in.” Asked about her feelings at being the first Muslim Miss England, she said: “I’m making history and I’m very happy. Hopefully I won’t be the last.” The student, who was known as Miss Maya after the Asian fashion house which sponsored her, has also been offered a part in a forthcoming Bollywood movie.