A Lebanese-Canadian beauty is competing in the Miss Universe Canada competition on Aug. 18 in Toronto.
Rita Houkayem is one of 46 contestants hoping to clinch the Miss Universe Canada title, and move on to the global Miss Universe Pageant.
Houkayem, who speaks four languages, holds a master’s degree in International Affairs. She works as a policy analyst for the Canadian government, where she focuses on information and communications technologies.
- Height: 5’9
- Hometown: Toronto, ON
- Languages: English, French, Arabic, Spanish
- Occupation: Public Servant
In an interview with Miss Universe Canada, Houkayem expressed pride in her Lebanese roots.
“I have also visited Lebanon numerous times and have fallen in love with it after every trip. It is one of the most intriguing places in the world as it has experienced centuries of conquest and turmoil but remains as one of the most vibrant places. Fun fact, it is the home of the Phoenicians, the civilization that created the foundation for the modern Alphabet and is characterized by charming ancient cities such as Byblos, which is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. To me, this little country conveys a message of hope and resiliency to the world, inhabiting people from eighteen different religious sects, coexisting peacefully despite all their differences.”
In the future, Houkayem hopes to become an international leader in education and development, and a UN ambassador for youth and women.