“I want to be the last girl in the world with a story like mine,” says Nadia in her autobiography, The Last Girl.
Nadia Murad has become the second youngest woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Peace. It comes at a time when Yazidi women are still enslaved and men are killed and mass rape is rampantly used as a weapon of war. As of now, more than 4000 Yazidi people have been massacred by ISIS fundamentalists, 10,000 kidnapped and thousands are lost with no clues.
Yazidis are one of the oldest minorities in Iraq. They speak Kurdish and their faith is inspired by sects of pre-Islamic Mesopotamian religion, ancient Persian Zoroastrianism, Sufi Islam and Christianity. Their monotheism is very different from monotheistic Abrahamic religions.
They have been subject to brutal marginalization since the Ottoman Empire, as many Sunni Islamic sects consider them to be ‘Satan worshippers.’
The worst subjugation upon Yazidi came during Islamic State’s conquering of Iraq in 2014.
In August 2014, IS invaded a village of Kojo in Sinjar, killing 600 people and taking away thousands of women of Yazidi community as hostages.
Nadia Murad was one of the captives of Islamic State. In 2014, it was reported that more than 6000 women have been taken as sex slaves by IS.
Nadia recounts her horrors afflicted by IS militants, as part of its systematic rape and sexual harassment practice. They believed if women are raped by 10 Muslims, women will stand converted to Islam. Girls like Nadia were bought, sold and tortured in IS captured areas, like commodities.
She was among the few fortunate ones who managed to escape the persecution after few months. The captor had left his house unlocked. She flew to refugee camps, from where she managed to take refuge in Germany. Later that year she launched her campaign against human trafficking and spoke at the UN General Assembly about the atrocities meted out to Yazidis. In her powerful speech, she talked about the massacre, and about women and captive children still stranded on the mountain. Nadia told that the community was scattered by the invasion, forced out of Iraq, their homeland Kocho sieged by the ISIS militants. She was appointed as UN Goodwill Ambassador after this.
Yazidis are said to have survived over 73 massacres since Ottoman Empire rule. They have managed to not only maintain existence but also become torch-bearers of minorities and people who are the victim of Islamic Fundamentalism.