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Miss Egypt Takes Stand Against Terrorism

Miss Egypt 2014 (Gamalek Ya Masr) gets ready to kick off its final this Friday, taking a defiant stance against recent terrorist attacks with a determination to boost Egypt's tourism and raise environmental awareness.

Ahead of its final this Friday in Sharm El Sheikh, Gamalek Ya Masr - Miss Egypt 2014 held a press conference at Sofitel El Gezirah on Sunday, outlining the details of the pageant and introducing the 19 girls who were selected last Friday in the pre-final to compete the final.

The contest is geared for a major comeback in the face of the recent unrest in Egypt. Organiser and main man behind the Miss Egypt pageants since 1998, Youssef Spahi, announced that the contest is taking place "not simply to choose a pretty girl," but in an effort to indirectly boost tourism in the country in the face of recent events.

"Unfortunately, today we had a terrorist incident - but we are here to respond with an event about beauty," said Spahi, who runs the modelling agency Face to Face, the main organiser behind the contest.

19 girls were selected in a pre-final event that took place in the Citadel last Friday, and was due to be aired on Mehwar channel (the official media partner of the pageant) on Sunday, but was postponed in solidarity with the victims of Sunday's bombing near the Foreign Ministry.

The girls were selected by a judging panel that consisted of Youssef Spahi, Professor Amaal Rezk representing the UN, nutritionist Dr. Hany About El Naga, international fashion designer Hany El Behery, and renowned photographer Khaled Fadda, as well as Muhammed El Masry, Dr. Sherifa About El Naga, Mahinour Guawish, Simon El Matni and a representative from Sofitel.

The final is set to select five winners from among the 19 pre-finalists on Friday at the International Conference Center in Sharm El Sheikh. The front runner will receive a cash prize, as well as a Mazda 3, and she, alone with the two runner-ups will receive a scholarship in the fashion design department at the Modern Sciences and Arts University (MSA). The Miss Egypt 2014 crown is supplied by renowned diamond retaillers Iram Jewellery.

And for the first time, Face to Face is collaborating with the United Nations' project Let's Take Care of the Planet, in an effort to increase environmental awareness on eco-tourism in Sharm el-Sheikh.

As part of these efforts, Miss Egypt 2014 will hold a cycling marathon on Wednesday, September 24, in which all the contestants will partake, along with special guests Alyz Henrich Miss Earth 2013 and Katia Wagner Miss Earth Air 2013.

Spahi concluded that the pageant is geared for a strong comeback after its three-year hiatus, aiming to select not just a beautiful face, but an ambassador to represent Egypt abroad and a chance to revive Egypt's place in the international community.