Meet the New Miss Israel: Standing tall through it all

Titi, the first Ethiopian immigrant to win the Miss Israel title, says she’s come a long way in less than 10 years. Born in a tiny African village where things like staircases didn’t even exist, Titi suffered the tragic loss of both her parents by age 12. She then came to Israel and created a new life.

Today, an estimated 121,000 citizens of Ethiopian descent are living in Israel.

“This was an incredible moment,” Titi says. “Obama is a figure that I want to emulate. I did a project on him in school and I knew what he had been through and what he had done. He was like a mentor for me, so to meet him and say hello, it was like closing a circle.”

Yityish “Titi” Aynaw