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This weekend in Erbil, Iraq, 300 courageous Iraqi intellectuals, dissidents and tribal leaders, both Sunni and Shiite, met to put aside old hatreds for Israel and the Jewish people and advocate for joining the Abraham Accords.
The Iraqi government’s response? They have issued arrest warrants for the two leaders who addressed the conference and are working to identify all 300 attendees, threatening to arrest them all.
On Thursday, we will be Interviewing the first courageous Iraqi humanitarian leader, Sarah Idan, a former “Miss Iraq.” Sarah’s crime, for which she and her family were threatened with death, was taking a selfie in 2017 with Miss Israel. Come hear what Sarah Idan thinks of the latest developments in her native country of Iraq and learn about her marvelous organization, Humanity Forward, and whether there is hope for a real, lasting peace between Israel and Iraq.
About the speaker:
In 2017, Sarah Idan was crowned Miss Universe Iraq. During the pageant, Sarah posed for a photograph with Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman, and shared it on Instagram. Immediately following the post, Sarah received a barrage of hateful comments and death threats directed at her and her family. Her family was forced to flee Iraq, and Sarah has remained fearful of returning home since.
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. In June 2018 she was the first Iraqi to speak at the American Jewish Committee in Jerusalem, although her visit to Israel led to more death threats.
In 2019 she was named an Ambassador for Peace by U.N. Watch and took her activism to the U.N. in Geneva to call out antisemitism and bias against Israel. Her speech at the U.N. caused the Iraqi parliament to revoke her citizenship for being a “traitor” to Iraqi government policies against Israel. She has also met with politicians and powerful figures such as Jared Kushner’s team in the White House, to provide consultation on how to push a peace deal in Arab countries. She attended the Abraham Accords signing in 2020. During the May 2021 war in Israel waged by Hamas, Sarah started creating digital content to expose propaganda against Israel and spoke at a Beverly Hills rally.
Every day, Sarah uses her social media platforms to call out hypocrisy and antisemites, leading to a spat with Ilhan Omar. Sarah continues to work hard to amplify her voice, widen her audience, create more content and network to push huge projects such as a documentary that will cover her story of fighting anti-Israel propaganda and traveling to Israel to document the beautiful co-existence inside of Israel that proves Israel isn’t an apartheid state as many social justice movements claim today.