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Miss Iraq’s family forced to flee country in wake of selfie controversy

The family of Miss Iraq has been forced to flee the country after the beauty queen posted selfies with Miss Israel.

The Miss Universe Pageant contestant Sarah Idan was criticised in her homeland after she posted photos on social media with Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman.

During the competition, held in Las Vegas last month, the two beauty queens uploaded images of themselves on their respective Instagram accounts.

Miss Idan captioned the photo: “Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel.”

Both images received more than 5,000 likes each, but also attracted abusive comments.

The family of the beauty queen, who lives in the United States, left Iraq after receiving death threats over the photo of the two women, Ms Idan confirmed to The Independent. 

The family of the beauty queen, who lives in the United States, left Iraq after receiving death threats over the photo of the two women, Ms Idan confirmed to The Independent. 

She wrote: “I want to stress that the purpose of the picture was only to express hope and desire for peace between the two countries.”

The 27-year-old added the photo “does not signal support for the government of Israel and does not mean I agree or accept its policies in the Arab homeland”.

And she went on to say she apologised “to all those who consider [the picture] harmful to the Palestinian cause”, the Times of Israel reported.

In the last week, the controversy reignited when Miss Israel told Israeli TV that Idan’s family was forced to flee their country.

Idan said she wanted to keep a low profile until her family got out of the country.

While she said they are safe now, she still worries about what could happen.

“I was crying to my mom and felt like it’s my fault they left, and she said, ‘no, it’s not your fault, we live in a f****d up society.’”

Idan says she has no regrets about posting the photo.”The government has been scary quiet. And when they’re this quiet, you don’t know what waits for you at home.”

ALSO READ:Miss Iraq and miss Israel selfie goes viral on social media

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