In March, the University of Florida’s CAMERA-supported group This Is Israel hosted Titi Aynaw, the first Ethiopian Miss Israel.
Aynaw talked about her life journey from Ethiopia to Israel. She discussed her life struggles and how from young age she had to learn how to get what she wanted and needed. Aynaw told the audience that both her parents died by the time she turned 10, leaving her an orphan. Aynaw moved to Israel when she was 12 with her brother and grandparents, but explained how she struggled to assimilate. She said her childhood was not easy, but she never gave up and always pushed herself to be the best she could be.
Aynaw also spoke about what it was like to be a woman Lieutenant in the IDF. Regarding her Miss Israel win in 2013, Aynaw said that it was her friend who signed her up to the competition and that she had never modeled before.
By running the event, This Is Israel showcased a different side of Israel rarely spoken about on campus, not a political or religious one. The students asked her about her life, her goals, her expectations and dreams, and what she projects for the future of Israel. The event was extremely successful with a turnout of over 60 people!
Contributed by Daniel Kosky, CAMERA Intern