And while much of the world was touched, one of those women is now facing repercussions some warned her of.
Sarah Idan, the reigning Miss Iraq, has faced threats and her family forced to flee their homeland after she posed for a picture with a fellow contestant from Israel. "We chose to do the picture and we continued nearly every day together, and since then we've been in touch, talking all the time", Gandelsman told an Israel TV news program.
"Individuals made dangers against her and her family that in the event that she didn't return home and bring down the photographs, they would evacuate her [Miss Iraq] title, that they would slaughter her", Gandelsman disclosed to Israeli TV.
As part of the competition, she wore a bikini.
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Gandelsman added that she's been in contact with Idan ever since seeing her at the pageant at Las Vegas.
In November, Gandelsman and Idan took selfies together and shared them to their respective profiles, with thousands of followers.
Idan has yet to take the post down.
Idan, who lives in the USA, posted a photo on Instagram with the caption: "Peace and love Miss Iraq and Miss Israel".
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"I need to stretch that the motivation behind the photo was just to express seek and want after peace between the two nations", she composed, including that the phot with Gandelsman isn't demonstrative of help for the Israeli government or an absence of help for the Palestinian reason.
"I want to stress that the objective of the picture was only to express hope and desire for peace between the two countries", she wrote, adding that the phot with Gandelsman is not indicative of support for the Israeli government or a lack of support for the Palestinian cause.
In Arabic, Sarah Idan said Gandelsman told her 'she hopes that one day there will be peace between the two religions (Judaism and Islam)' Gandelsman, 19, posted on her own Instagram account: 'This is Miss Iraq and she's fantastic'.
Apparently that wasn't enough to appease the population.
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"She did it to so that people can understand that it's possible to live together", Miss Israel said of her friend.