Rima Fakih was crowned Miss USA in 2010 and was the first Muslim to ever win the title.
But she isn’t Muslim anymore.
Since her victory, her eyes have been opened… and now she is a follower of Jesus!
Rima Fakih isn’t just known for her 2010 win.
She is a Lebanese-American actress and model, familiar to beauty pageantry.
Oh yeah – and she’s a professional wrestler!
Growing up, Fakih says her family was nominally Muslim, though she was quite familiar with the Christian faith due to her years attending a Catholic school as a child in Lebanon.
Once Fakih got to college, her once nominal Muslim faith became a bigger part of her life as she sought her identity and spiritual guidance from the teachings of Shia Islam, the most prominent religion in Lebanon.
However, there is also a strong Christian community in Lebanon, including the Maronite Catholic Church.
Wassim Slaiby is a Maronite Catholic. Shortly after meeting each other, Slaiby and Fakih fell in love.
Spirituality was important to both. As they discussed their different beliefs, the Holy Spirit began to reveal to Fakih many truths she learned as a child but had since forgotten.
Fakih determined that the answers about life and the world were found in the God of the Bible.
This was an important decision that led the couple to decide they could have a future together.
They were married in 2016.
But God had been working in Fakih’s family long before her personal conversion, and she now recognizes the effect all the relationships in her life had on her conversion.
In 2010, when Fakih was still a practicing Muslim, she told the Huffington Post, “My brother-in-law is Christian, and he (and my sister) baptized their two sons. I have an uncle who converted to Christianity, and he’s a priest now.”
At the time of her 2010 win, the spotlight she held got brighter and was causing controversy in her Shia Islam faith.
For a Muslim woman to show her beauty publicly is shamed in the culture she came from. She was continuously criticized by her faith community since her career began.
At the end of her reign as Miss USA, Fakih said, “Miss USA is just a real woman, a real human being who is an adult and has her own opinion and can make her own decisions.”
She realized that being Miss USA had neither helped nor harmed her personal validation and the peace she sought internally. The affirmation of people cannot be a source of lasting peace.
No longer Miss USA, Fakih was led to other career opportunities and left her home seeking answers inside.
In a brilliant twist of redemption, when God arrested her life and brought her focus toward Himself, she found the peace and identity she longed for. There was wholeness. Many things God had impressed upon her since childhood were coming together.
Now in alignment with Him, God is blessing her career to continue breaking barriers and bringing strength and positivity.
In fact, she is now the National Director and Executive Producer for Miss Lebanon/Miss Universe. She is also blessed as a mother and wife, living with her family in California.
Just a few things she has done since that time are:
“Rima F Slaiby, has appeared at Ronald Reagan’s Centennial Celebration, riding in a float at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Regis&Kelly Show, Good Morning America, The Wendy William Show, Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman, and attending an American Chamber of Commerce conference in Cairo alongside former President Bill Clinton. Rima continued to make many appearances with the World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE), including a special segment titled ‘Tribute to the Troops’ and a role in the reality show ‘Tough Enough’, ‘Dancing With the Stars’, and Fox ‘The Choice.””
And less than a year ago in September 2018, her pageant show caught attention worldwide.
She is using the position and skills God has granted her:
“By combining her pageant and business knowledge, Rima and her team of professionals lead the vision for the new and improved pageant for future participants and winners of Miss Lebanon.”
Pray for Fakih-Slaiby and her family that she continues to learn more about Him and use her talents for His glory.