Sarah Idan, who represented Iraq at the recent Miss Universe, says her family was forced to flee the country amid terror after she posted a selfie with Miss Israel Adar Gandelsman.
Miss Iraq Sarah Idan's selfie with Miss Israel Adar Gandelsman has sparked a social media storm. Despite her good intent to promote peace between the two countries which have been at war, not everybody responded well to the picture.
According to Gandelsman who has been keeping in touch with Idan, the latter and her family have received death threats from people in Idan's home country of Iraq. "People made threats against her and her family that if she didn't return home and take down the photos, they would remove her [Miss Iraq] title, that they would kill her," Gandelsman told Israeli TV. She added, "Out of fear they left at least until the situation calms down."
Idan, who lives in the U.S., later confirmed the story in a tweet. "I'm not the first nor the last person to face prosecution over a matter of personal freedom. Millions of Iraqi women live in fear. #freeiraqiwomen," she posted on Twitter along with a link to Gandelsman's interview.
I’m not the first nor the last person to face prosecution over a matter of personal freedom. Millions of Iraqi women live in fear. #freeiraqiwomenhttps://t.co/Vt0YjFbyf4
— Sarai (Sarah Idan) (@grrrciara) December 15, 2017
The selfie in question was taken during the 2017 Miss Universe pageant in Tokyo in November. Idan captioned it, "Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel." It has received more than 6,000 likes on Instagram.
Idan, who said she had served with both the U.S. and Iraqi armies, explained, "She asked for a photo and I agreed, saying that I too hoped for peace and wanted to help pass on the message." She added, "This picture doesn't mean I support the Israeli government or its polices towards Arab countries. I apologise to everyone who saw it as an insult to the Palestinian cause — this was not its purpose."
Gandelsman, meanwhile, told Idan that "she hopes that one day there will be peace between the two religions (Judaism and Islam) and that her children will not have to do military service."
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