MISS UNIVERSE: Vancouver beauty representing Canada will always be an activist, win or lose

Published: November 26, 2012

Miss Universe Canada Sahar Biniaz, left, says she hopes to attend the Miss Universe pageant to lend her full support to runner-up Adwoa Yamoah from Calgary, who will now be competing for Canada. Photo illustration/Miss Universe

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Sahar Biniaz already feels like Miss Universe — but the competition isn’t until Dec. 19.

The Indian-born Vancouver resident was crowned Miss Universe Canada in May and now she’s gearing up for the international beauty competition in Las Vegas. She’s set to fly out Wednesday.

“I feel like with the Miss Universe Canada title I’ve done exactly what Miss Universe will do. I’ve travelled the world, I’ve raised awareness of the organizations
I’m passionate about,” Biniaz told Vancouver Desi from her Vancouver home.

Biniaz has been training hard for the competition: She just returned from Panama where she worked with a professional coach and on Monday she was en route to hike the Chief in Squamish.

But it’s not just about the title.

“Regardless of what happens I will still do what I’m doing, I will still do charity work, I’ll still travel the world,” she said. “I don’t want to wait until I get Miss Universe to go and do all this stuff — I’m doing it now.”

At 27 years old, Biniaz has already travelled to 30 different countries and worked with a number of charities, like Operation Smiles and SOS Children’s Villages.

While her title as Miss Universe Canada has helped her accomplish these things, she plans to continue her charitable mission even if she isn’t crowned Miss Universe next month.

“It’s a great way to humble you as a person and … to bring you back to reality and realize how valuable life is and how we take it for granted,” she said.
But Biniaz never forgets her roots either — calling Vancouver home and having grown up in Richmond — she still helps local charities, like BC Transplant and always finds time to lend a hand in the Downtown Eastside.

“Whenever I’m back in town I find it just very humbling and it also brings you back to reality because this world travelling and all the gifts you receive it’s a very glamorous world, but I think it’s very important to have balance in life,” she said.

RELATED STORIES:

A main cause she also supports is anti-bullying and suicide prevention.

“Suicide is very big issue and it’s not talked about until we have an incident like Amanda Todd,” she said. “Prior to that nobody wants to talk about it, nobody wants to deal with it.”

As a child Biniaz was bullied and while it’s hard to believe a beauty queen still gets caught in negativity today — she does.

Most recently, she visited a young girl who was the victim of a vicious pitbull attack and according to Biniaz, she was misquoted by media.

“I said I don’t want to see another dog put down wrongly and another kid have half their face be destructed by a pitbull, so why don’t pitbull owners just muzzle and leash (them) when they’re out — that way both are happy,” she said.

But instead she was portrayed as a supporter of banning pitbulls and she faced threats and negativity from the public.

“People were putting on the Internet that I should be killed,” she said. “They wanted me to get my crown taken away and look at me, I’m still Miss Canada.”

“That’s a great example of how you should rise above it and how you should be transparent.”

For Biniaz, it only mattered that she helped the young girl.

“She was so happy to see me,” she said. “Me and her family now we talk, she’s doing great and she’s recovered.”

“The biggest bully in life is our self, so if we learn to not bully ourselves, then regardless of who bullies us we can deal with it.”

And she wants to continue spreading that message by climbing Mount Everest in support of the Pink Shirt campaign, an anti-bullying initiative, and plant a pink flag at Everest’s base camp.

“I want to be the first beauty queen that climbs (Everest),” she said.


Sahar Biniaz


Picture 3 of 16

Miss Universe Canada Sahar Biniaz attends the Rhino Season premiere during the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival at The Elgin on Sept. 12, 2012 in Toronto, Canada. Jemal Countess/Getty Images






Featured

10914RALLY15_217980852

Saskatoon woman, 65, faces death if deported to native Pakistan: lawyer

EVAN RADFORD THE STARPHOENIX A woman in Saskatoon who fled to Canada from her native Pakistan over accusations of adultery has lost a bid to…
Continue Reading »

COLD_MURDER_SENTENCE_20130410_210705138

Man jailed for murder of Vancouver girlfriend wants to withdraw his guilty plea (with video)

KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI A man who spent 12 years on the lam before being convicted in the fatal shooting of his teenage girlfriend wants…
Continue Reading »

calf

Villagers worship ‘miracle’ calf in India born with third eye (w/ video)

VANCOUVER DESI People are flocking to a small village in southern India to worship a “miracle” calf believed to be an incarnation of a Hindu…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Saskatoon woman, 65, faces death if deported to native Pakistan: lawyer

By Steve Lambert THE CANADIAN PRESS WINNIPEG — A woman who fled to Canada from Pakistan — and who may be stoned to death upon…
Continue Reading »

10914RALLY15_217980852

Saskatoon woman, 65, faces death if deported to native Pakistan: lawyer

EVAN RADFORD THE STARPHOENIX A woman in Saskatoon who fled to Canada from her native Pakistan over accusations of adultery has lost a bid to…
Continue Reading »

Mediator strides between camps as B.C. teachers and government aim for deal

By Tamsyn Burgmann THE CANADIAN PRESS RICHMOND, B.C. — Negotiators for striking British Columbia teachers and the province huddled separately in a Richmond hotel for…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

underwater photos

Gallery: Couples pose for ‘romantic and beautiful’ underwater photos

VANCOUVER DESI Some memories need to be captured in the most beautiful and romantic settings, especially when it comes to life’s important occasions involving weddings…
Continue Reading »

heptathlete India

Indian athlete with six toes on each foot attempts to overcome deformity to medal at Asian Games

C. RAJSHEKHAR RAO THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI – Merely wearing shoes is painful for Swapna Barman. She was born with six toes on each…
Continue Reading »

striking teachers

Kids attending Surrey farm school likely helping to feed some striking teachers (w/video)

GLENDA LUYMES VANCOUVER DESI Instead of pencils and books, kids took up carrots and cucumbers Thursday at “farm school.” As the teachers’ strike stretches on,…
Continue Reading »

crime-Reeva Steenkamp

South Africa prosecuting authority unhappy with Oscar Pistorius judgement in shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

IANS Pretoria – South Africa’s top prosecuting authority Friday expressed its disappointment on not being able to secure a conviction on the original charge of…
Continue Reading »

body odour-discrimination

San Diego cabbies outraged by body odour test used to ban foul-smelling drivers

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Body odour is among 52 criteria that officials at San Diego International Airport use to judge taxi drivers. Cabbies say that smacks of…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger gestures to the waiting media as he returns after visiting Tamil Nadu state Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalitha at her office in Chennai, India, Monday, Sept.15, 2014. The former California Governor is in Chennai as part of a promotional event of Tamil movie ‘I’. AP Photo/Arun Sankar K

Arnold Schwarzenegger, in Chennai for Tamil film launch, says he’d love to work with Shankar

IANS Chennai  – Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was in Chennai on Monday as the chief guest for the audio launch of Tamil film I, said he…
Continue Reading »

Parineeti Chopra and Aditya Roy Kapur

Gallery: Bollywood actors Aditya Roy Kapur and Parineeti Chopra on ‘food yatra’

IANS New Delhi – The lead actors of “Daawat-e-Ishq” Aditya Roy Kapur and Parineeti Chopra have embarked on a ‘food tour’ to promote their upcoming…
Continue Reading »

Shah Rukh Khan Deepika Padukone Bollywood sex

Salman Khan: Shah Rukh Khan and Happy New Year team will promote film on ‘Bigg Boss’

IANS Mumbai – Actor Salman Khan, who is gearing up with “Bigg Boss” season 8 says his rival Shah Rukh Khan will promote his film…
Continue Reading »