Miss Iraq's family fled the country after receiving death threats

Contestants Miss Iraq Sarah Eedan and Miss Israel Adar Gandelsman pose together for a selfie during preparations for the Miss Universe 2017 beauty pageant in Las Vegas United States

Miss Iraq Forced to Flee Homeland After Selfie With Miss Israel REUTERS SARAH IDAN Social Media

Idan and Adar Gandelsman, who represented Israel, took the selfie during a pre-pageant photo days before the November 26 pageant in Las Vegas.

This was followed by a lot of hate directed at Miss Iraq Sarah Idan, and now her family has been forced to flee the country due to death threats.

The photo has been liked over 7,000 times.

Gandelsman said that she and Idan share a deep bond of friendship and they remained in contact with each other since the Miss Universe event.

However, the innocent selfie saw the Miss Iraq organisers threaten to take her crown - by order of the government - and her and her family were subjected to death threats. Out of fear, they (Idan's family) left Iraq at least until the situation calms down.

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"I said, 'Let's take a picture so our people can see we don't have a problem and we're actually ambassadors for peace, '" Sarah Idan, the first Miss Iraq to compete in the pageant in 45 years, told CNN on Sunday.

On Idan's account, the photo's caption reportedly read, "Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel".

She added: "She asked for a photo and I agreed, saying that I too hoped for peace and wanted to help pass on the message". "Posting this does not mean that I am supporting the Israeli government and does not mean that I accept any of their policies toward the Arab world", Sarah wrote.

She went on to apologise to all those who consider the picture harmful to the Palestinian cause.

Indeed, as Gandelsman said: "She (Idan) did it so that people can understand that it's possible to live together".

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Confirming the news, Idan took to her Twitter profile and talked about how she was not "the first, nor the last person to face prosecution over a matter of personal freedom".

After the selfie incident, Idan told CNN she was forced to wear a more modest swimsuit in the nationally televised competition and said the Miss Universe organization wiped her bikini photos from the web. "He said I have to take the picture down or they will strip me of my title".

That would require Idan to travel back to Iraq, which she says she's afraid to do.

'This is Miss Iraq and she's unbelievable, ' the Israeli wrote.

The women who were contestants for Miss Universe 2017 had clicked the picture in Las Vegas.

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"I respect pacifist Jews who oppose the state of Israel, but we don't want their peace built on the ruins of our country".

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