MINNESOTA — Halima Aden is 19-years old. She is a college student living in St. Cloud and she is making history.
For the first time, a fully-covered Muslim contestant is participating in the Miss Minnesota USA competition this weekend. The winner will be announced Sunday evening. The winner will go on to represent Minnesota in the Miss USA Competition.
Aden was born in a refugee camp in Kenya. She and her family spent most of her childhood in St. Cloud.
This is the first pageant for Aden. She told local reporters she saw the Miss Minnesota USA stage as an opportunity to change misconceptions some people have about Islam and the Somali community. “There is a small percent of people who have hate in their hearts,” Aden said. “I think part of the problem is they’re not interacting with people who are Somali.”
Aden will compete in a her hijab, and wear a burkini during the swimsuit portion of the competition.
The contestants had preliminary rounds Saturday night and they will find out who won after the competition Sunday night.
The Miss USA pageant was part owned by President-elect Donald Trump for nearly two decades and aired on NBC Universal and Univision, but the networks said last year that they would no longer air the pageant following controversial comments made by Trump on immigrants.
— Leila Navidi (@LeilaNavidi) November 27, 2016
Halima Aden starts off Miss Minnesota USA’s swimsuit segment to big cheers from the crowd. Announcer: “She’s making history tonight.” pic.twitter.com/OUvbHv6xct
— Liz Sawyer (@ByLizSawyer) November 27, 2016
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