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Palestinians decry 'cultural theft' as Miss Universe contestants wear Bedouin clothes

Palestinians found it offensive for the contestants in Miss Universe 2021, which was held in Eilat, to wear the traditional Palestinian dress, and are now demanding that Israel be held accountable for what they deemed cultural "theft."
Palestinian university students wearing traditional embroidered dresses take part in an event titled "Don't Steal Our Heritage," Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Dec. 16, 2021.

Miss Philippines Beatrice Luigi Gomez, who participated in Miss Universe 2021, which was held in the city of Eilat in southern Israel Dec. 13, tweeted pictures Dec. 4 of herself in the traditional Palestinian dress making grape leaves along with other contestants during a tour in the city of Rahat, in the northern Negev Desert in southern Israel, with the caption, “Day in the life of a Bedouin,” as a kind of promotion of the Bedouin culture that the contestant attributed to Israel.

Miss Ukraine Hanna Nepliakh also shared photos on Instagram, wearing the Palestinian dress and preparing Palestinian pastries, captioned, “Today, on the way to Eilat, we stopped at a Bedouin settlement in Israel and plunged into their culture and traditions.”

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