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