Because of the photo above, Miss Lebanon Saly Greige is under fire back in her home nation. According to some sources, Saly has been avoiding to be seen right next to Miss Israel Doron Matalon as it might cause some controversy. Israel and much of the Arab world has been engaged in a hostile war and various skirmishes since the creation of the former as an independent Jewish nation. Lebanon, although an Arab nation, has a much better relationship with Israel although several Islamic militants within Lebanon have attacked Israel in several instances.
This is not the first time though that the turmoil in the Middle East has affected the Miss Universe competition. In 2002, Miss Lebanon Christina Sawaya even refused to join the Miss Universe competition because Miss Israel Yamit Har-Noy is also competing. In 2006, Gabrielle Bou Rached of Lebanon and Israel’s Anastacia Entin ran into trouble after they revealed that they have established personal friendship despite, at that time, the Israeli air force are bombing some parts of Lebanon.
As for the photo above, Saly wrote this to her fans: “To all my supporters and Lebanese citizens, I would like to thank you indeed for your continuous support of Miss Lebanon at the Miss Universe contest …The truth behind the photo: Since the first day of my arrival to participate to Miss Universe, I was very cautious to avoid being in any photo or communication with Miss Israel (that tried several times to have a photo with me). I was having a photo with Miss Japan, Miss Slovenia and myself; suddenly Miss Israel jumped in, took a selfie, and put it on her social media. This is what happened and I hope to have your full support in the Miss Universe contest”