Sarah Idan, founder

Miss Universe iraq to activist

In 2017, Sarah Idan was crowned Miss Universe 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 — a 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.