Former refugee in Miss Universe contest

The Local Austria
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Former refugee in Miss Universe contest
Photo: Miss Universe

A young Austrian woman with a refugee background will on Sunday represent her adopted country in the Miss Universe contest in Las Vegas.


While not the bookies' favourite, Amina Dagi has captured global attention with her witty and elegant rendition of Austria's national costume, transforming herself with makeup into the famous Austrian diva and winner of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, Conchita Wurst.

Austrian contestant Amina Dagi.  Photo: Miss Universe

The fabulous outfit is by talented Swedish designer Aviad Arik Herman, who said that he was inspired to create the design because "The meaningful costume brings the urgent message, and stands for #courage#tolerance#acceptance#equality & being #unstoppable!"

Dagestan refugee

Dagi grew up in Dagestan (North Caucasus, Russia.) At the age of eight, Amina's family had to leave her hometown due to severe political issues. With nothing but a backpack, they fled to Austria, starting a new life in a completely different culture.

She picked up the German language and new hobbies very quickly, winning the state judo championship in 2006.

When she was crowned Miss Universe Austria, she used the attention of the local media to support an orphanage as well as various other charity projects. As an ambassador for integration, Amina wants to convey the message of tolerance.

Dagi was chosen as a replacement for the former Miss Universe Austria, Annika Grill, who was selected to compete in the Miss World contest.  She attracted some controversy after getting a nose job.

As the face of ZUSAMMEN:ÖSTERREICH, Austria's nationwide refugee campaign, she aims at encouraging people to always remain hopeful. 



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