Miss Iraq Sarah Idan (right) and her family were targeted with death threats after she posed with Miss Israel Adar Gandelsman (left) to publicize their friendship in an Instagram post, on November 13, 2017.
GENEVA, June 5, 2019 — UN Watch announced today that Miss Iraq Sarah Idan, who faced death threats for posting a photo of herself with Miss Israel, will receive the Swiss organization’s Ambassador for Peace Award.
The prize will be presented to Idan at a Geneva ceremony attended by diplomats and supporters of UN Watch at its 2019 Gala Dinner next Thursday, June 13th. Click here for tickets.
“Sarah Idan was chosen for her courageous and extraordinary actions to promote tolerance, build bridges for peace, and spread a message of hope and unity,” said Hillel Neuer, UN Watch Executive Director.
“Through her speeches, social media posts and other public diplomacy, Sarah Idan has become a leading advocate for peace, and a fearless opponent of terrorism, hatred and antisemitism. She famously called out the atrocities of Hamas, as well as its apologists such as activist Linda Sarsour. All of this in the face of death threats and other vicious attacks.”
In 2017, Sarah Idan was crowned Miss Iraq and selected to compete in the Miss Universe pageant. Like her fellow competitors, she embarked on this journey with pride to represent her people on the world stage. However, what she would experience during the pageant would set her apart from her competitors and change her forever.
During the pageant, Sarah posed for a photograph with Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman, and shared it on her Instagram—as an expression of peace and love. Immediately following the post, Sarah received hostile criticism, hateful comments, and death threats directed at her and her family.
This experience linked Sarah and her Israeli counterpart in a story that sent ripples throughout the entire Middle East region—solely because she, an Iraqi, posed with Adar, an Israeli. Her family was forced to flee Iraq, and Sarah has remained fearful of returning home since.
From this experience, Sarah knew this would only be the beginning of her commitment to connecting Muslims and Jews, Arabs and Israelis, beyond borders, differences in faith, and age-old conflicts, united in amity and common ground. To achieve her vision of peace, she founded the organization Forward Humanity, and serves at its CEO.
In 2018, Sarah visited Israel, reunited with Adar, and bonded with Iraqi Jews. This year, she became a leading voice on social media against Hamas rocket attacks, and challenged former Pink Floyd musician Roger Waters who calls for anti-Israeli boycotts. Click here to view Sarah Idan’s videos and tweets defending Israel.
More needed in today’s world than ever before, Sarah Idan is a true Ambassador for Peace.