Malaysian/Indonesian Nurul Shamsul has broken record for being the first Muslim woman to be shortlisted in the Top 20 of Miss Universe New Zealand.
Originally from Malaysia (with Indonesian roots), the 20-year-old beauty is a published poet and lifestyle blogger who have lived in New Zealand since she was five, but have always stay true to her culture, traditions and faith.
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To new hopes and dreams. May democracy prevail. 🇲🇾 It is important to always know who you are and where you come from. Stick to your culture and your traditions because it’s such a shame when people assimilate to fit in. Be proud of all that you are. ❤️ From my own experiences, what I love about New Zealand is that people are more accepting of different cultures and ethnicities. This is what makes New Zealand unique- all the different cultures we have. So don’t be afraid to embrace who you are and don’t forget about your roots. 🌺
The hijab-wearing contestant hopes that this opportunity will allow her to break boundaries and stereotypes of beauty pageant competitions. and also to shed and spread positive light to the religion of Islam.
“I hope to break boundaries and stereotypes. I also hope that together we can re-define the standards of beauty. My intention to compete in Miss Universe is to grow into the woman that I want to become and to also empower young girls along the way,” she said on her social media.
“Although it is ordained to wear the hijab, many Muslim girls are worried about wearing the hijab in public because of what people in society think and because of possible harassment. Therefore, by having made it to the finals I hope to help build confidence for Muslim women to wear the hijab.”
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A month ago I was announced as a finalist for Miss Universe New Zealand. I remember the feelings I had before and after the announcement. I prayed that if this opportunity is good for me and my religion, then I wanted God to let it happen. If it wasn’t, then I wanted Him to turn me away from it. Now a couple weeks into the journey and I can tell you that it hasn’t always been easy. But in saying that, I’ve already grown so much as a person. Just never give up. It’s all about trusting that everything will be okay because He knows better. Alhamdulillah, I’m also super grateful for all the love and support so far. I hope that my intentions will always be kept pure and I will try my absolute best to fulfil them, insyaAllah. Also, don’t forget to vote for me, link is in bio. 💖 #missuniverse #missuniversenewzealand #roadtomissuniverse #journeytomissuniverse
Nurul is certainly not the first Muslim woman nor the first hijab-wearing contestant to participate in famous beauty pageant. Somali-British Muna Jama and Somali-American Halima Aden also made headlines when they participated in Miss Universe Great Britain and Miss Minnesota USA respectively.
The Grand Final for Miss Universe New Zealand 2018 will be held on 4th August 2018 at SKYCITY Theatre.
Find out more at nextmissnz.com.