After the incredible achievement of being the first transgender woman to participate in the national Miss Israel beauty pageant, Talleen Abu Hanna finished up as the third runner-up (4th place) at the beauty contest, held on May 1st. The winner was 18 year old high school student Nicole Reznikov from Afula.
Abu Hanna, who was also the oldest contestant among the year’s finalists, took to Facebook to express her gratitude. “I wish Mazel Tov and good luck to my dear Nicole,” Talleen wrote. “We had an amazing experience together. I would [also] like to thank each of the judges and members of the beauty contest team for their amazing attitude and wonderful friendship.”
“…[but] mainly I would like to thank you, people of Israel and the enlightened people of the world, for your support and sympathy over the past few months. As far as I am concerned, I am so happy that I received this amazing opportunity to be in the final quartet and be among the winners to stand proudly and spread the message of peace, coexistence and acceptance of the other.”
18 year old Nicole Reznikov, who won the title Miss Israel will represent Israel at the Miss Universe pageant to be held in Las Vegas on November 26. Reznikov later spoke about her remarkable resemblance to actress Gal Gadot, who started her career as Miss Israel in 2004. “I was always told that I looked like her, it’s not new to me,” said Reznikov in an interview the morning after she was crowned, “it’s incredibly flattering. I hope I will become successful like she did.”