Twenty-four candidates for the coveted title arrived in the Red Sea tourist resort of Hurghada last week for 10 days of catwalk and photoshoot training, topping up their suntans and relaxing.
But now, 17 to 24-year-olds are going home to continue their training in their distinctly chillier homeland, because their families are worried, a spokeswoman for the contest told AFP.
“We have received lots of phone calls (from family members) who have seen the images from Cairo and who are concerned,” Ines Klemmer, one of the organisers, said by phone from Hurghada.
“So they are being repatriated tomorrow (Thursday), instead of on Saturday.”
This is despite the fact there is no sign on the sun-kissed beaches of the Red Sea of the unrest raging for the past nine days throughout the Arab world’s most populous country.
“It’s completely calm here. There are no problems, everything is running according to plan,” Klemmer said.