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Arab-American from Michigan crowned Miss USA

The Lebanese immigrant from Dearborn moved to the US as a baby, and says her family celebrates both Muslim and Christian traditions.

May 17, 2010 4:50 by

Miss USA for 2010 is 24-year-old Rima Fakih, perhaps the first Arab-American, Muslim, and immigrant to win the title, the Associated Press reports.

Pageant officials have declined to confirm the historic “firsts,” saying that pageant records are not detailed enough. The Miss USA pageant began in 1952 in California.

During the competition, Fakih fielded controversial questions from panel judges. She said she was a staunch supporter of states’ rights, an opponent of illegal immigration, and opposed to racial profiling. She also said that she believes health insurance should cover birth control pills.

Fakih told reporters that she sold her car after graduating from college in order to help finance the cost of entry to the Miss Michigan pageant.

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