Family of Miss Iraq forced to flee after she takes selfie with Miss Israel

Miss Universe contestant Sarah Idan has confirmed that her family has fled their home country of Iraq after a harmless selfie with Miss Israel led to repeated death threats.

Sarah Idan, who represented the war-torn country last month in Las Vegas, sat down with CNN to talk about the picture for the first time since its message of understanding set off a wave of social media attacks.

“Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel #missuniverse,” she posted on her Instagram account, adding heart emojis next to a picture of her with fellow contestant, Adar Gandelsman.

See photos of Sarah Idan with other Miss Universe contestants:

20 PHOTOS
Photos of Sarah Idan with other Miss Universe contestants
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Photos of Sarah Idan with other Miss Universe contestants
Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel ❤️❤️💕💕 #missuniverse
Miss Puerto Rico and Miss Iraq 💕💕 #missuniverse
My roommate arrived! Lovely Miss Egypt Farah Sedky 🇪🇬. I️ love Egypt! It’s as if Miss Universe knew 😂😂 وصلت رومايت ملكة مصر فرح 💕💕 #missuniverse
Thanks @theperfectface 💕 #missuniverse2017
Arab union in Las Vegas. Miss Egypt 🇪🇬Miss Iraq 🇮🇶 Miss Lebanon 🇱🇧 #missuniverse مؤتمر القمة العربية في فيغاس 😁 ملكة جمال مصر، ملكة جمال العراق، ملكة جمال لبنان ❤️❤️💕💕💕
💕💕💕 Miss Nigeria 🇳🇬 #missuniverse #nightout
One of best parts about being in Miss Universe is I️ got to know many wonderful women with amazing stories. I️ feel very fortunate 💕💕💕 من احلى الأشياء اللي صارت معي بنس يونفرس اني تعرفت على نساء مذهلات مع قصص مؤثرة جدا 💕 #missuniverse
Sweet Braziiiiil 🇧🇷 💕 ela gosta do meu canto em portugues 😁 تحب من اغنيلها بالبرتغالي #missuniverse
Latin beauty Miss Mexico 🇲🇽 #missuniverse ملكة جمال مكسيكو 💕تره كنّا جدا تعبانين و نعسانين 😊
Miss Ghana!! 🇬🇭 💕💕💕 ملكة غانا #missuniverse
After National costume fashion show. Designed by @odayshakar . Dress includes the iraqi abaya topped by the crown of queen Puabi (shaabaad) and silver wings with a futuristic look representing the future of Iraqi women. Thank you so much for amazing work! We carrried Iraq with pride tonight 🇮🇶💕💕. بعد انتهاء الفاشن الشو. الزِّي الوطني بتصميم صديقي العزيز و المصمم المبدع عدي شاكر. الزِّي يمثل فستان الجلبية و العبائة العراقية مغطى بتاج الملكة السومرية شبعاد مع اجنحة فضية ملهم من دزاين مستقبلي يمثل المرأة العراقية المستقبلية 💕💕💕 #missuniverse
From fashion show #phlasvegas #missuniverse
We reversed roles قلبنا الأدوار 💕💕💕😂 @janasahder #missuniverse
I️ love this dress. Simple and classy 💕by designer @odayshakar أحب هذا الفستان. بسيط و كلاسي. ستايلي 😊شكرًا للمصمم عدي #missuniverse
Miss Nepal 🌹🌹 beautiful dress by wonderful @odayshakar. #missuniverse #nightout
With Miss Venezuela 🇻🇪 💕💕. #missuniverse #nightout
Her words and tears really touched me, and it is exactly why I️ will keep on going. For everyone that cheered Iraq today. I️ will not stop until our story is told to the world. I️ promise you 💕. كلمات سنغافور و دموعها بعد المسابقة لن أنساها أبدا و هي و امثالها السبب اني راح استمر و كل اللي بكوا و شجعوا العراق و نادوا باسمه عالمسرح أقلكم مستحيل راح أتراجع لحد ما العالم كله يعرف قصتنا. 💕🇮🇶 #missuniverse
Congrats to South Africa but to me and most girls at the pageant Jamaica is our queen 👸. We Love you girl!! And proud of you! Steve Harvey is right! You are the queen babe ❤️💕💕💕 🇯🇲 🇮🇶. #تهنئة لملكة جمال الكون جنوب افريقيا و لكن في نظر جميع البنات بالمسابقة جامايكا هي ملكة جمال الكون. كل الملكات معك و فخورين بك #missuniverse #missuniverse2017 @officialmissuniversejamaica
Her words and tears really touched me, and it is exactly why I️ will keep on going. For everyone that cheered Iraq today. I️ will not stop until our story is told to the world. I️ promise you 💕. كلمات سنغافور و دموعها بعد المسابقة لن أنساها أبدا و هي و امثالها السبب اني راح استمر و كل اللي بكوا و شجعوا العراق و نادوا باسمه عالمسرح أقلكم مستحيل راح أتراجع لحد ما العالم كله يعرف قصتنا. 💕🇮🇶 #missuniverse
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Idan, a 27-year-old who was her country’s first contestant in the pageant in 45 years, immediately began receiving backlash for the post from those criticizing the state of Israel, leading her to write a follow up post saying that the selfie was support for the Benjamin Netanyahu administration or a slight against Palestinians.

The aspiring singer, who also has U.S. citizenship and lives in Los Angeles, told CNN that the Iraqi organization that sent her to the pageant had threatened to strip her crown if she did not take the photo down.

She said that she refused to do so, but stayed quiet about the matter for weeks as her family left the country amid harassment and people recognizing them in the street.

“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 told CNN.

The Miss Iraq Organization said that it did not issue the crown-stripping threat despite a “strong attack from the Iraqi street.”

RELATED: Rebuilding ancient Iraq

10 PHOTOS
Rebuilding ancient Iraq
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Rebuilding ancient Iraq
Workers are seen as they lay tiles on the floor of a 19th-century mansion at the Citadel of Erbil in Erbil, Iraq April 23, 2017. Picture taken April 23, 2017. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
A tourist couple takes a selfie at the Citadel of Erbil in Erbil, Iraq April 23, 2017. Picture taken April 23, 2017. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
People visit the Citadel of Erbil in Erbil, Iraq April 23, 2017. Picture taken April 23, 2017. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
Kurdish people sit in a coffee shop in front of Erbil Citadel, Iraq April 14, 2017. Picture taken April 14, 2017.REUTERS/Jamal Saidi
People visit the Citadel of Erbil in Erbil, Iraq April 23, 2017. Picture taken April 23, 2017. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
People walk at Erbil fountain square as seen from the Citadel, Iraq April 14, 2017. Picture taken April 14, 2017.REUTERS/Jamal Saidi
Kurdish people sit in a coffee shop in front of Erbil Citadel, Iraq April 14, 2017. Picture taken April 14, 2017.REUTERS/Jamal Saidi
A mosque is pictured inside Erbil Citadel, Iraq April 14, 2017. Picture taken April 14, 2017.REUTERS/Jamal Saidi
A view shows a part of Erbil Citadel, Iraq April 14, 2017. Picture taken April 14, 2017. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi
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Idan's confirmation comes after Israeli media reported her family's flight last week when Gandelsman recounted what had happened to her selfie partner.

Their picture came before tensions in the Middle East over Israeli-Palestinian relations became even more heated after President Trump’s announcement

Iraq was one of many Arab countries that came out against the move and said that it could have a destabilizing effect on the region.

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