Stunning Afghan Refugee Vying To Become Miss Belgium

Story By: Delano LangrasSub Editor: Michael LeidigAgency: Newsflash

This stunning Afghan refugee – who fled to Europe when her father was killed for trying to stop her marriage to a much older man – is vying to become the next Miss Belgium.

Mahdia Karimy, 19, is hoping to become Miss Belgium 2021 after arriving in the country in 2016 and learning to speak Dutch fluently in less than a year.

She told Newsflash: “I feel very calm, comfortable and happier here in Belgium than in Afghanistan because I feel safer and freer here.”


She was just 13 years old when she was nearly married off to a fifty-something man in her home city of Mazari Sharif in northern Afghanistan near the border with Uzbekistan.

He father refused to allow the marriage to go ahead and paid for it with his life.

She reportedly fled the country with her brother and they both nearly drowned when their boat sank off the coast of Greece.


Karimy told Newsflash: “I was afraid the man would kidnap me. My mum and brother decided to send me abroad. Because I was so young, I could not come alone so my brother came along. We were on the road for almost a month.”

Karimy, who is halfway through writing a book about her journey, said: “I’m still alive and I’m now chasing my dream – to become Miss Belgium.”

The 19-year-old, who lives in the Belgian city of Sint-Niklaas, has now become a resident and speaks Dutch fluently.


She said: “I had four terrible years waiting for my asylum application to be approved. After arriving in Belgium, and surviving at an asylum centre on EUR 70 a week, my brother and I went to Ghent.”

Karimy told Newsflash: “I am now writing a book about everything. I want to tell people about how difficult life is in Afghanistan and how dangerous life is for women in particular.

“Women are not respected there, they and are abused. They have no life there.”


When she graduates from art school in a year’s time, Karimy can apply for Belgian nationality.

She said: “It’s going in the right direction. That’s why I registered for Miss Belgium. As a little girl I looked up to models and beauty pageants because there is no such thing in Afghanistan. As soon as I arrived in Belgium, I pulled myself in that direction because I knew I would take part in the contest one day.”

Karimy hopes to win the crown from Miss Belgium 2020 Celine Van Ouytsel, 23, at the next pageant in January 2021.


She told Newsflash: “In addition to becoming Miss Belgium, I definitely want to study further and get a nice job later. I want to show people I’m not ashamed of being a refugee.

“There is nothing wrong with being a refugee. And I want to be an example for other refugees to show that we can do many other things. We can also be successful and not just listen to a man bossing us around.”

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