Miss Iraq beauty pageant 2015 held for the first time since 1972

The contest has been cancelled for the last four decades due to unrest in the Middle East

Despite the dangers of Isis and death threats to contestants, the Miss Iraq beauty pageant has been successfully held for the first time in over 40 years.

Shaymaa Abdelrahman, a 20-year-old from Kirkuk, became the first person to claim the title of Miss Iraq since the event was last held in 1972.

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The pageant was held in a hotel in Baghdad and involved the eight contestants posing in dresses and high heels, before pitching ideas for charity projects to the judges.

It means Iraq will now be able to put forward a representative for the international Miss Universe contest.

Senan Kamel, the pagaent’s artistic director, told the Guardian: “What we’re hoping to accomplish is to make Iraq’s voice heard, show that it is still alive, that its heart is still beating.