Qaanitah Hunter- Cii News – July 12, 2012

She cannot articulate her emotions; she is on the verge of breaking down. This was the state of former Miss South Africa (1976), Lynne Massyn, when she spoke of her embracing Islam.

In front of 10 000 guests and 450 students, Lynne proclaimed the Shahada or testimony of Faith during a graduation ceremony at the Islamic University of Gaza on Tuesday night.

She was part of a humanitarian group in Gaza representing the South African Relief Agency (SARA), under the leadership of Sheikh Walid as-Saadi. Lynne accompanied the organisation as a fellow humanitarian.

She says her interest in Islam and Muslim people began around a year and a half ago when she joined the group as the media liaison officer.

“During this time I found out about Palestine, courtesy of Walid as-Saadi, and I just felt the surge of Islam among these people that was so welcoming and wonderful to me,” she described.

Her proclamation of the Shahada was televised and broadcast over various Arab stations.

At the ceremony, Sheikh as-Saadi was awarded a doctorate and the team was honored as esteemed guests.

Lynne said it was an amazing evening and seemed to be ‘the right time’. “It was so emotional and just so unforgettable.”

The beauty queen said that prior to her discovery of Islam she was not inclined to any particular religion.

“It was the spirit of the people initially, the dignity and morality is what attracted me and then of course the reality,” she said describing how her interest to Islam was prompted.

She explained how her move was warmly received by the Palestinian people of Gaza: “It was really so emotional,” she said. “I could hardly get out of there, the people were showering me with so much love and warmth. I have never felt so welcomed by people in my life,” Lynne said.

“I can hardly speak about it at this moment because it hasn’t yet sunk in.”



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