Murad in 2018
Nadia Murad Basee Taha
1993 (age 25–26)
|The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State|
Nadia Murad Basee Taha (Arabic: نادية مراد باسي طه; born 1993) is an Iraqi Yazidi human rights activist who lives in Germany. In 2014, she was kidnapped from her hometown Kocho and held by the Islamic State for three months.
Murad is the founder of Nadia's Initiative, an organization dedicated to "helping women and children victimized by genocide, mass atrocities, and human trafficking to heal and rebuild their lives and communities".
In 2018, she and Denis Mukwege were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict". She is the first Iraqi and Yazidi to be awarded a Nobel Prize.
Early life and capture by ISIS
Murad was born in the village of Kocho in Sinjar District, Iraq. Her family, of the Yazidi minority, were farmers. At the age of 19, Murad was a student living in the village of Kocho in Sinjar, northern Iraq when Islamic State fighters rounded up the Yazidi community in the village, killing 600 people – including six of Nadia's brothers and stepbrothers – and taking the younger women and girls into slavery. That year, Murad was one of more than 6,700 Yazidi women and girls taken prisoner by Islamic State in Iraq. She was captured on 15 August 2014. She was held as a slave in the city of Mosul, where she was beaten, burned with cigarettes, and raped. She successfully escaped after her captor left the house unlocked. Murad was taken in by a neighbouring family, who were able to smuggle her out of the Islamic State controlled area, allowing her to make her way to a refugee camp in Duhok, northern Iraq. She was out of ISIS territory on early September or in November 2014.
In February 2015, she gave her first testimony to reporters of the Belgian daily newspaper La Libre Belgique while she was staying in the Rwanga camp, living in a converted shipping container. In 2015, she was one of 1,000 women and children to benefit from a refugee programme of the Government of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, which became her new home.
Career and activism
On 16 December 2015, Murad spoke to the United Nations Security Council about human trafficking and conflict. This was the first time the Council was ever briefed on human trafficking. As part of her role as an ambassador, Murad will participate in global and local advocacy initiatives to bring awareness of human trafficking and refugees. Murad has reached out to refugee and survivor communities, listening to testimonies of victims of trafficking and genocide.
In September 2016, Attorney Amal Clooney spoke before the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to discuss the decision that she had made in June 2016 to represent Murad as a client in legal action against ISIL commanders. Clooney characterized the genocide, rape, and trafficking by ISIL as a "bureaucracy of evil on an industrial scale", describing it as a slave market existing online, on Facebook and in the Mideast that is still active today. Murad has received serious threats to her safety as a result of her work.
In September 2016, Murad announced Nadia's Initiative at an event hosted by Tina Brown in New York City. The initiative intends to provide advocacy and assistance to victims of genocide. That same month, she was named the first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human trafficking of the United Nations (UNODC).
On 3 May 2017, Murad met Pope Francis and Archbishop Gallagher in the Vatican City. During the meeting, she "asked for helping Yazidis who are still in ISIS captivity, acknowledged the Vatican support for minorities, discussed the scope for an autonomous region for minorities in Iraq, highlighted the current situation and challenges facing religious minorities in Iraq and Syria particularly the victims and internally displaced people as well as immigrants".
Murad's memoir, The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State, was published by Crown Publishing Group on 7 November 2017.
In 2019, Murad addressed the second annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom where she spoke about her story and the ongoing challenges faced by Yazidis nearly five years after the 3 August 2014 attacks and laid out a "five-point plan of action" to address the challenges they face in Iraq. Murad was included among a delegation of survivors of religious persecution from around the world whose stories were highlighted at the summit. As part of the delegation, on 17 July 2019, Murad met with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office and shared her personal story of having lost her family members, including her mother and six brothers, and pleaded with him to do something.
In August 2018, Murad became engaged to fellow Yazidi human rights activist Abid Shamdeen.
Awards and honours
- 2016: First Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking of the United Nations
- 2016: Council of Europe Václav Havel Award for Human Rights
- 2016: Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought (with Lamiya Aji Bashar)
- 2018: Nobel Peace Prize (with Denis Mukwege)
- Nadia Murad: The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State (Virago eBook, 7 November 2017), ISBN 978-0-349-00974-2 (English)
- Nadia Murad: Ich bin eure Stimme: Das Mädchen, das dem Islamischen Staat entkam und gegen Gewalt und Versklavung kämpft (Knaur eBook, 31 October 2017), ISBN 978-3-426-21429-9 (German)
- Dalal Khario
- Farida Khalaf
- Genocide of Yazidis by ISIL
- List of kidnappings
- List of solved missing person cases
- List of Yazidi settlements
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- @NadiaMuradBasee (23 October 2017). "Honored to announce my memoir THE LAST GIRL will be published by @CrownPublishingGroup on Nov 7th" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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