Kawtar Benhalima, 22, will represent Morocco in the Miss Universe competition, no offense to the many Moroccans who are asking for his withdrawal from the competition after discovering his Algerian origins. The Miss had declared during the Miss Morocco contest that her grandmother is the person who inspires her the most in her life. Of Algerian origin, she had emigrated to Morocco during the War of Independence and passed on her seamstress know-how to several Moroccan women to help them empower themselves.
To read: Miss Universe Morocco 2021 unfairly attacked on social networks
These remarks by Kawtar Benhalima sparked a wave of hate reactions on social networks. However, the young woman insisted on the fact that she was born in Marrakech and obtained her diploma in business there, after having made a course at the American school in Morocco and in France. Some Moroccan internet users, feeling insulted by these statements by Miss Morocco, went so far as to create the hashtag #BoycottKawtarBenhalima to demand its revocation.
The controversy linked to the Algerian origins of Kawtar Benhalima comes in a context of crisis between Morocco and Algeria which in August severed diplomatic relations with the kingdom. In early November, Algeria accused Morocco of the murder of three Algerian truckers in the Sahara.