Europe

Syrian refugee Ninorta Bahno crowned 'wine queen' in Germany

Syrian refugee Ninorta Bahno receives crown during ceremony for the new wine queen in Trier, Germany, August 3, 2016 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ninorta Bahno says she hopes the prize will help other asylum seekers integrate

A Syrian refugee has been crowned "queen" of one of Germany's top wine-making regions, the first asylum seeker to receive such an accolade.

Student Ninorta Bahno, 26, fled the civil war in Syria more than three years ago.

The Syrian Christian was crowned wine queen in the city of Trier, western Germany, in the Moselle wine region near the border with Luxembourg.

She said that she hoped the prize would encourage integration.

"I want to show that Germany is a welcoming country and that the Germans are very hospitable and work towards integrating refugees quickly and successfully," said Ms Bahno, quoted by Deutsche Welle.

"As a refugee, it's very difficult to integrate into a new place at the beginning."

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Ninorta Bahno will promote wine producers in the region

Last year, Germany received more than one million migrants, many of them fleeing the war in Syria.

Ms Bahno will spend the next year representing winemakers from around Trier at festivals and events.

She said that other refugees she had spoken to were "very happy" about her new title.

Ms Bahno said she had taken a crash course on local wine-making and that her favourite variety was a sweet Riesling.

The tradition of German wine queens dates back to the 1930s.

Every September, the wine queens from German's 13 wine regions compete for the title of German Wine Queen.

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