Above: Colonel Gadaffi meeting journalists and Miss Net World president Omar Harfouch, in his compound in Tripoli. Left: Contestants were flown from Kiev, Paris and London to Tripoli on private jets.
The organisers, French-Lebanese millionaire brothers Omar and Walid Harfouch, having left the employ of the Elite modelling agency beauty competition, formulated a themed pageant, a tailor-made publicity machine, with democracy and world peace as its pillars and infamous terrorist nations its target hosts. The organisers are now in what they call "hopeful" negotiations with North Korea for Miss Net World 2003. Knowing them and the story of the Tripoli saga, even Asia's node of the Axis of Evil doesn't look to be out of their reach.