Miss USA

Zena Malak is Miss Illinois USA 2016

Zena Malak was crowned Miss Illinois USA 2016 at the end of the beauty pageant held on September 7, 2015 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. She also won the Miss Photogenic award. 85 contestants competed for the crown. Zena succeeds Renee Wronecki who made the TOP 15 at Miss USA 2015 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She will compete at Miss USA 2016 the next summer.

Illinois is one of the most successful states in the competition. It is one of only four states to have won four or more Miss USA titles and one of only three states to win two Miss USA titles in consecutive years. All four winners came from the early history of the competition, with their last Miss USA being Karen Morrison, who held the title in 1974.

Check out the 2016 Miss USA Contestants here



Close-up of the beautiful Zena Malak
Close-up

Who is Zena Malak ?


Zena's father is half egyptian half lebanese. It's not her first pageant, she competed at Miss Illinois USA 2013 where she was the fourth runner-up and she was Miss Illinois Galaxy International 2011.

Malak is a graduate of DePaul University in Chicago.

"Day 2 at Miss Illinois USA is complete! Been a looong day, good night all!" posted the beauty queen on Instagram
"Day 2 at Miss Illinois USA is complete! Been a looong day, good night all!" posted the beauty queen on Instagram

Behind the scenes of Zena Malak's photoshoot for the 2016 Miss Illinois Pageant
Behind the scenes of Zena Malak's photoshoot for the 2016 Miss Illinois Pageant

with her father
with her father

Did you know this? In 2010 a lebanese beauty won the Miss USA Pageant. Rima Fakih was the first Arab American and the first Muslim to win the Miss USA title. During and after the Miss USA pageant, Fakih's religious and ethnic identity became the subject of widespread discussion. On the subject of identity, she was quoted as saying "I'd like to say I'm American first, and I am an Arab-American, I am Lebanese-American, and I am Muslim-American."

Many Arab Americans celebrated Fakih's victory, but some Muslims felt she did not properly represent their religion. Muslim scholar Ghazal Omid wrote "To say that she is a Muslim is inaccurate. No Muslim woman can call herself a ... Muslim and be on stage with her bikini".

Miss USA 2010 Rima Fakih by Fadil Berisha
Miss USA 2010 Rima Fakih by Fadil Berisha
 
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