MANILA -- Despite its virtual set-up for the second straight year, the Miss Earth pageant has managed to draw 88 global beauties in its roster this year.
This includes the first candidate from Iran in its 21-year pageant history.
Hami Zaker, 27, made her first impact at the pageant’s eco-video preliminary competition where she introduced herself as a veterinarian and advocate of water and food security amid drought in her country.
Pageant organizer Lorraine Schuck told ABS-CBN News that Iran’s representation in the pageant is significant.
Zaker also participated in the beach prelims, albeit in a conservative look that acknowledges her country’s cultural background. According to the certification of the Miss Iran Organization, she is “the first Iranian woman who reached this level of the beauty pageant competition and will represent Iran to one of the world’s top pageants.”
Zaker is also listed as an animal rights advocate, part-time model and aerial dancer who speaks English, German, Kurdish, and Turkish.
Candidates have already introduced themselves in Miss Earth’s video streaming platforms which also features sports wear, evening gown and other preliminary events.
Among those who stood out in the beachwear showcase were the candidates from Thailand, Czech Republic, Chile, USA and Belgium.
Reigning Miss Earth Lindsey Coffey from the USA won in the pageant’s first virtual coronation in 2020.
The Philippines is now being represented by model Naelah Alshorbaji.
The pageant’s theme is "Colors of the Earth" signifying unity in diversity. Coronation day is on November 21 and will be aired on A2Z channel and other ABS-CBN platforms.