Rina and twin sister Romy, 1st and second place respectively

BEIRUT: Twins Rina and Romy Chibany were crowned Miss Lebanon 2012 and runner-up Saturday evening, in a ceremony held at the Platea arena, north of Beirut. The 21-year-old sisters, from Zahle in the Bekaa, were among 16 contestants from across Lebanon who took part in the competition, which included contests in the swimwear and gowns categories, and it was the first time that twins had entered the contest.

Rina was handed over the crown by last year’s winner, Yara Khoury-Mikhael, and has now guaranteed her place in the Miss Universe contest, to be held in Las Vegas on Dec. 19.

Speaking to Elnashara news website moments after she was crowned, Rina said, “I’m very happy to have won. I promise to restore the pride of this position, in deeds, not in words.” Also, she added, that she’d “have been much happier if my sister had won,” but vowed to cooperate with Romy throughout her reign.

Rina also said that she has many plans to consider for the upcoming year, which she said she would announce soon.

The twins’ parents said they were proud of their two daughters, who they said honored the family as they hoped they would now also honor Lebanon.

When asked about what she considered her best qualities in an earlier interview with LBCI, Rina, who studied interior design at university, said, “I am a good listener; I am helpful, trustworthy and productive!”

Rina’s favorite book is Paulo Coehlo’s “Veronika Decides to Die,” and her favorite designer is Elie Saab.

While beauty pageants are often criticized for objectifying women, in the same interview, Rina said, “In today’s world it is very important to look good therefore I find physical appearance to count a lot!”

Of her aims in life, she answered, “My goals are finding love everywhere, keeping it and spreading it. I also aim to find the love of my life, and discover the divinity within me. I want to learn something new every day.”

If she could change one thing about herself, it would be her “sensibility.”

She said her parents inspire her the most, as well as “people who overcome hardships and obstacles.”

When asked if she was more of a giver or a taker, Rina answered, “I consider myself more of a giver. This comes from me being a perfectionist and I would rather do everything myself.”

The eclectic jury included former Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud, Maxime Chaaya, the first Lebanese to climb Mount Everest, and pop star Nancy Ajram.

During the program, #MissLebanon was trending globally on Twitter.

In August, Lebanese-Australian Jessica Kahawaty came third in the Miss World 2012 competition, representing Australia.  Courtesy The Daily Star :: Lebanon