UAE resident Norah Alawadhi’s photo with Israel’s Ronny Gonen with their respective flags against the backdrop of Burj Khalifa recently went viral on social media.
The image of the two women from atop a skyscraper, as they held hands with flags on their back, was first shared by Emirati businessman-cum-writer Hassan Sajwani on the social media platform.
Peace starts with the politicians and continues with the youth pic.twitter.com/jgmHl7T35c
In a few hours, the photo went viral and was shared or tweeted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ivanka Trump, advisor to the US President Donald Trump, as per a report in Gulf News.
“Exciting picture from Dubai. Peace for peace creates new friends in the Middle East,” Netanyahu posted while sharing the photo with the flag emojis of both the countries.October 6, 2020
“Great photo from Dubai,” wrote Ivanka Trump.
From King Norah, Norah Alawadhi became “the girl from the picture of the UAE and Israeli flags in Dubai” on Twitter.
WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND THE VIRAL PHOTO
Speaking to Gulf News, Norah said it all happened because of a coincident. “The woman holding the Israeli flag is Ronny Gonen, a travel blogger from Israel. She was on a visit here and I was introduced to her by someone I know,” Norah was quoted as saying.
Norah said Ronny asked if she could join her for a photoshoot for her blog ‘to make an impact’. It was a yes from Norah.
The women realised the risk they were taking for the shoot when they reached the terrace of an 80-storey tower facing Burj Khalifa.
“When we reached that place, my heart just fell out of my chest! We had the whole crew with us and the security approval. But I never knew I had the fear of heights till then. I had never felt so scared of heights even when I went to [the observation deck in] Burj Khalifa. It was scary in that open space above 80 floors,” Norah said.
Norah said Ronny was also frightened. “She didn’t want to take even one picture because she thought she was going to fall. But I had more guts to go with it and face my fear. I told myself — just do it. It is for a good purpose. I told Ronny, don’t worry, let’s do it. I said those little words and held her hand. We went closer to the edge. We stood there and she became confident enough,” Norah said.
When the pictures came out, Norah said she noticed that they were still holding hands and smiling looking at each other.
On being targeted by some on social media, Norah told Gulf News, “I am proud of myself and what I did for my country. I want to create more things for my country. You have to have the guts to do it. And I was raised with that guts, thanks to my dad who is my biggest inspiration.”