Sarah Mendly


United Kingdom

Known for

First Muslim to Enter and Win Miss Nottingham Pageant


Hijri 1402-Present (AH); Common Era 1982-Present (CE)

Sarah Mendly


Ms. Mendly gained worldwide media coverage as the first Muslim to enter and win the Miss Nottingham Pageant as a British representative. The pageant has provided Sarah with an opportunity to shed light on the issues and perspectives of British Iraqis. She hoped her background will make her stand out from the rest of the contestants. “I’m Iraqi, and there’s never been an Iraqi Muslim girl in any beauty contest based in England,” she said. “My mum and I want to show that there are attractive British Iraqi girls who are proud of being both British and Iraqi. I also felt it would be a good way to raise awareness of certain charities, such as Children of War and Breast Cancer Research. Winning would mean I could use the publicity for a good cause.” Ms. Mendly also has a hidden talent for poetry. She started writing at the very early age of nine. She entered a national poetry competition at the age of 16, and became a finalist. She later went on to publish her writings. Aside from poetry, she also enjoys playing the piano, which she has done since the age of 8. Ms. Mendly has various hobbies and interests, among them, listed highly are her keen interest in following global politics. Ms. Mendly is a biomedical science honors graduate who’s parents left Saddam Hussein’s tyranny and went on to reside first in Abu Dhabi and then on to the United Kingdom. Mendly was born in Abu Dhabi and moved to Britain when she was 18-months-old. Currently, she is studying towards obtaining her master’s degree in nursing in California.


The Times, “Muslim with dream to be Miss England,” 2005 BNET, Carole Malone: “Sarah’s Stand is a Light of Hope ,2005 BBC, “Sarah Mendly, Miss Nottingham 2005 Finalist,” 2005 <a href="http://" target="_blank">BBC Anger over Muslim beauty entrant</a> Web. September 2005 The Independent, “Muslim Women Brave Wrath of Fundamentalists by Competing in Miss England Beauty Contest,” 2005