Miss Israel 2013 Titi AyanawMiss Israel 2013, Yitayish "Titi" Ayanaw, competes in a preliminary round of the 2013 Miss Universe pageant. (Photo: Alexander Nemenov/Getty Images)

Meet the new Miss Israel, Titi Aynaw

This Ethiopian Israeli is standing tall through it all.

This 6-foot beauty captured not only the attention of the judges but also the world when she was recently crowned Miss Israel. Soon after, another dream was fulfilled when 21-year-old Yityish “Titi” Aynaw was invited to dine with President Barack Obama. It was in celebration of his most recent trip to Israel.

“This was an incredible moment,” Titi said. “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.”

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.

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