Go Zana Go

Miss Kosovo’s moral victory

Mon, 07/14/2008 – 4:35pm

HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images

The big geopolitical headline coming out of last night’s Miss Universe pageant is surely Miss USA tripping on the runway while Miss Venezuela cruised to victory.

While Hugo Chávez is no doubt enjoying this small victory against Yankee imperialism (in Vietnam, no less!), the Century Foundation’s Jonathan Kolieb was deeply moved by the performance of Kosovo’s first-time contestant Zana Krasniqi (right):

Miss Kosovo was an instant crowd favorite, and the judges agreed – putting her through to the Top 10 finalists – a fantastic feat for a first-time participating country and visibly nervous contestant. If further proof was required that Kosovo had indeed come out from behind Serbia’s shadow, Miss Kosovo easily trounced all her cross-Balkan rivals including Miss Serbia.

Ultimately, Miss Venezuela won the tiara, and Miss Kosovo did not. (A poor choice – but enough editorializing.) However, Kosovo found its first international ambassador – and in an over the top pink-and-frills gown and an itsy-bitsy bikini – she did a splendid job representing her new-born country.

Last night Kosovo took her place amongst the community of nations.

While part of me suspects that Kolieb needed a quick excuse for watching the entire Miss Universe pageant, it’s hard not to get caught up in his enthusiasm. But Krasniqi should be careful. Small, linguistically divided European nations can be hard on their bikini-clad ambassadors.

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As emailed by Fadil Berisha’s Studio. Boy am I proud!

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