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Who Does Miss Uzbekistan Think She Is?

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Uzbek media have been abuzz in recent days over Rakhima Ganieva, the 18-year-old Tashkent native who gained minor celebrity this summer when she was named Uzbekistan's first-ever representative in the Miss World competition, which kicked off this week in Indonesia with 131 young hopefuls from around the globe.

At first glance, Ganieva would seem to be everything an attention-seeking Central Asian autocracy could hope for: she plays piano and tennis, speaks polished English, and even bears a passing resemblance to Uzbekistan's presidential daughter and resident glamour-puss Gulnara Karimova.

But with the September 28 Miss World final just weeks away, officials in Tashkent appear to have washed their hands of Ganieva, saying they have no idea who she is or what she's doing in Indonesia.

Both the Uzbek Culture and Sports Ministry and the national committee on women, contacted by RFE/RL's Uzbek Service, said they had no knowledge of Ganieva's participation in the Miss World contest. Nor, they added, does Uzbekistan even have a Miss Uzbekistan contest. Anyone laying claim to the title, they suggested, was clearly an imposter.

Others were more explicit.

To read the full story

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Who Does Miss Uzbekistan Think She Is?

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