Miss Iraq's Family Forced to Flee Country Over Her Instagram Post

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Relatives of Idan's have gone into hiding after a picture of the beauty queen with Miss Israel led to death threats.

Many countries in the region, like Iraq, do not have formal diplomatic relations with Israel.

People in Iraq were also angry that Idan had posted a photo in a bikini.

Contestants (from left) Adar Gandelsman, Miss Israel, and Sarah Idan, Miss Iraq, pose together during preparations for the Miss Universe 2017 beauty pageant.

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. The paper said Miss Israel made the comments to an Israeli TV station.

The family of Miss Irad has reportedly threated to death and being forced to flee the country after an Iraqi beauty uploaded a selfie with her fellow Miss Universe contestant, Miss Israel. "Millions of Iraqi women live in fear", Idan, who has described herself as a "hardcore feminist", wrote on Twitter along with the hashtag "freeiraqiwomen".

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She also quoted Idan as saying that the latter "does not regret posting the photo on Instagram". She added that "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".

"She did it to so that people can understand that it's possible to live together", Miss Israel said of her friend.

Gandelsman also posted a picture with Idan on Instagram, writing, "Get to know, this is Miss Iraq and she's unbelievable". She did not remove image from her account, but posted a statement in Arabic apologizing "to all those who consider [the picture] harmful to the Palestinian cause", the UK's Jewish Chronicle reported. "In order to see that we can connect, in the end we are both human beings".

Idan, a Muslim, was born and raised in Baghdad worked with the American military from 2008.

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

She later moved to the United States and got a degree in Los Angeles.

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