Miss Iraq's Family Forced To Flee Country After Selfie With Miss Israel

Carla Harmon
December 16, 2017

Death threats followed. Idan's relatives in Iraq were forced to flee their country and go into hiding, the Jerusalem Post reported.

During a Miss Universe event in November, Sarah Idan, representing Iraq, snapped a photo with her friend Adar Gandelsman, who was competing as Miss Israel.

Idan came under fire for posting the photo to Instagram, captioned, "Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel", in addition to modeling a bikini.

Their selfie was later uploaded to their Instagram accounts which created mixed buzz on social media.

Some sympathized with the plight of the Iraqi model, blasting her detractors.

According to the Times of Israel, Gandelsman said: "The two of those things together caused a mess for her back home where people made threats against her and her family that if she didn't return home and take down the photos, they would remove her title, that they would kill her". She said the photo does not signal support for the Israeli government and apologized if the photo was harmful to the Palestinian cause.

Many Iraqi citizens were furious after a picture was posted online of their representative Sarah Idan with Adar Gandelsman at the Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas. According to Gandelsman, Idan does not regret sharing the photo on social media.

Idan, who said she had served with both the U.S. and Iraqi armies: "She asked for a photo and I agreed, saying that I too hoped for peace and wanted to help pass on the message. I apologise to everyone who saw it as an insult to the Palestinian cause - this was not its goal", she clarified in a statement in Arabic.

Idan had defended posting the picture with her Israeli counterpart and explained that both contesters chatted about the hope for peace to prevail and that as ambassadors of peace, this should be the spirit.

Ms Idan was born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq.

Last month, two 2017 Miss Universe contestants from "enemy states" demonstrated world peace by posing together for a photo.

"I knew that if you work with them then there's a chance you can go to the US", she said in the introduction video presented during the pageant.

Other reports by iNewsToday