Remember the selfie Miss Iraq Sarah Idan posted on Instagram with Miss Israel Adar Gandelsman during Miss Universe pageant last month? After the photo went viral, Idan’s family has been now forced to flee their country. The family has been receiving death threats over the last month over the selfie and for letting their daughter model in a bikini. Idan had posted the photo on Instagram with the caption, “Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel.” While the picture garnered a lot of eyeballs, not everyone looked pleased. Many social media users commented saying that the women did not reckon their country’s ideas. While they were also complimented for promoting global harmony, they were equally trolled for posting pictures with each other on their social media handles.
Iraq and Israel have no diplomatic relations and the former does not recognise the latter. Talking about the incident, Gandelsman told The Jewish Chronicle, “People made threats against her (Ms Idan) and her family that if she didn’t return home and take down the photos, they would remove her title, (and) that they would kill her… Out of fear, they left Iraq at least until the situation calms down.” Later on Friday, Ms Idan confirmed about the threats she and her family were facing due to the picture.
The women who were contestants for Miss Universe 2017 had clicked the picture in Las Vegas. Gandelsman also said that they had remained in touch after meeting at the pageant. She also quoted Ms Idan as saying she had “no regrets” about posting the photo on Instagram. Gandelsman said that Idan did not delete the photo despite the trolling as “She did that to inform people that it’s possible to live in peace.
Here are the photos:
Following the trolling, Idan took to Instagram to apologise to those who thought her posing with Miss Israel suggested her support for the Israeli government. In a statement in Arabic she wrote, “This picture doesn’t mean I support the Israeli government or its policies towards Arab countries. I apologise to everyone who saw it as an insult to the Palestinian cause – this was not its purpose,” she clarified in a statement in Arabic.” Ms Idan was born and raised in Baghdad in Iraq. She worked with the American military from 2008 after the US-led invasion in 2003. She later moved to the US.