Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Sunday, May 30, 1999 Published at 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK


World: Europe

Refugee crowned Miss Albania

Venera Mustafa: From refugee to beauty queen

A teenage Kosovo refugee has beaten 23 rivals to be crowned Miss Albania 99.

Kosovo: Special Report
It was the first time an ethnic Albanian from neighbouring Kosovo - which is part of Serbia and the Yugoslav republic - had entered the contest.

Venera Mustafa, one of three-quarters of a million refugees to have fled Kosovo, will now represent Albania in the Miss Europe contest.

Albania is host to more than 440,000 of the Kosovo refugees who have fled their homeland or been forced out by Serb forces.

Venera said: "This shows that we [in Kosovo and Albania] are one ... all together."

"I entered this competition because there are almost half a million Kosovars here and I wanted to represent my people."

The 19-year-old student from Pristina, who collected a $6,000 winner's cheque, escaped from Kosovo with her sister and mother.

Beauty contest success was far from their minds as they crossed the border to Albania.

Her mother, Muradije Ramiqi, said: "When I drove through Serb roadblocks, my heart trembled. I was scared they would take away my two daughters."

About 90% of Kosovo's pre-war population of 2 million were ethnic Albanians.

As she was crowned Venera added: "I want to go home as soon as possible."



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia



Relevant Stories

29 May 99 | Europe
Aid group plans Kosovo air drops

28 May 99 | Europe
Refugees film ethnic cleansing





Internet Links


UNHCR Kosovo News

Serbian Information Centre

Nato

Kosovo Crisis Centre


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Violence greets Clinton visit

Russian forces pound Grozny

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Next steps for peace

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Trans-Turkish pipeline deal signed

French party seeks new leader

Jube tube debut

Athens riots for Clinton visit

UN envoy discusses Chechnya in Moscow

Solana new Western European Union chief

Moldova's PM-designate withdraws

Chechen government welcomes summit

In pictures: Clinton's violent welcome

Georgia protests over Russian 'attack'

UN chief: No Chechen 'catastrophe'

New arms control treaty for Europe

From Business
Mannesmann fights back

EU fraud -- a billion-dollar bill

New moves in Spain's terror scandal

EU allows labelling of British beef

UN seeks more security in Chechnya

Athens riots for Clinton visit

Russia's media war over Chechnya

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Analysis: East-West relations must shift