SARODJ BERTIN `Miss Haiti 2010’ moved with ease and confidence between television cameras at an early morning `press call’ during the lead-up to the `Miss Universe’ pageant finals in a lavish 62nd floor penthouse lounge at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, high atop the hustle and bustle of the Las Vegas strip. When she finally settled for our interview, the 5’10” beauty with the sweet smile exuded the charm, intelligence and beauty befitting for the Queen that she is. “I feel privileged, it’s an honor for me to represent my country. This is the biggest opportunity that life has given me and to repair the image of my country,” said Sarodj.

Sarodj, who is an attorney, graduated at the top of her class. She said she always thought the `Miss Universe’ pageant would be a great way to promote her country. “I wanted to enter when I was a teenager, but I went to law school instead. But now, I entered the local pageant because the time was right for me to make a change. Yes, we’ve suffered a lot, but we still want to stand up, we cannot stay down and wait for things to happen, we have to be strong and determined,” said Sarodj.

 I asked `Miss Haiti’ what is her message representing Haiti at this crucial time, “I believe that being here at `Miss Universe’ is to promote the beautiful side of Haiti. I want people to look at the art and culture of my island. We need the opportunity to explore it.” We talked about the fact that Haiti has not been represented at the `Miss Universe’ for some 22 years. She feels that now is the time to come forward and showcase Haiti in a good light. “From what I heard there was no one to buy the franchise, but I believe things are going to change. I believe we are about to see some great work coming out of Haiti and I trust in a peaceful transition. I want the young Haitian people to participate, because we have a lot of talent, we have an opportunity to change things.”

 Of course Sarodj said she would have been the happiest woman in the world if given the opportunity to win the `Miss Universe’ title. “I want to work for my people, it would have opened more doors, but since I did not win I’ll just have to work harder,” said the beauty. Sarodj is a natural; she charmed everyone she met in the weeks leading up to the pageant. During the press call where she spoke to several international media, everyone was amazed at her intelligence, beauty and confidence. She’s the perfect example of overcoming adversities. Sarodj saw her mother, a political activist killed at the tender age of nine during a coup during the Aristide administration, her father moved the family to the Dominican Republic where she excelled in high school, college and law school graduating with top honors. She moved back to Haiti after the earthquake to work with her people. Now as `Miss Haiti’ Sarodj vows to continue flying the flag of Haiti proudly.

By Walter Greene | Photographed by Fadil Berisha courtesy of the Miss Universe Organization | Published in Profiles98 Magazine – Fall 1 Anniversary Issue 5 2010

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