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Betting on the Identity of the Mysterious Miss Uzbekistan

The identity of last year’s representative at the Miss World’s in Bali has been called into question

The identity of Uzbekistan’s representative at the Miss World competition last fall came into question after government authorities claimed they had no idea who she was. A woman called Rakhima Ganieva claiming to be from Tashkent appeared at the Miss World Competition in Bali, Indonesia.

She impressed everyone with her charm, grace, beauty and intelligence. There was only one complication: officials from the Great Silk Road country claimed no knowledge of her, and going even farther told reporters that there is no Miss Uzbekistan contest, so they did not intend to send a representative to Bali.

Shrouded in mystery

Almost all forms of gambling are prohibited by Uzbek gambling laws, but that doesn’t mean the locals don’t love to place bets. Would anyone like to wager on that actual identity of Miss Ganieva? Is she even from Uzbekistan? She claimed to be a student at the University of World Diplomacy and Economy, but school officials told reporters that they have no record of her.

While the national government is officially secular, Islamic groups have strong voices in society, and some argue that their influence is the reason that the government doesn’t want to get involved in things like Miss World. Some have even argued that Ganieva is indeed from Tashkent but that the government has refused to acknowledge her.

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