By Mohamed al-Dabouly
Yazidi-Iraqi human rights activist Nadia Murad was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize for Peace due to her anti-terrorism efforts not only inside her country but also all over the world. Since she has escaped from the Islamic State militant group of Daesh, Nadia recounted the brutal experience she saw when she was abducted by the militants, to the world.
Murad has successfully mobilized the international communities against the terrorist group. In December 2015, she gave a speech at the United Nations Security Council and spoke out about experience of humiliation and sexual slavery by Daesh fighters, who seized her homeland of village of Kojo in Sinjar , northern Iraq, in 2014 and killed six of her siblings.
Murad was born in 1993, three years after the Iraqi invasion to Kuwait. At the time of Nadia’s birth, Iraq was exhausted by a long war with Iran (1980-1988) and an air embargo imposed by the U.S. Moreover, Iraqi population already suffer a state of sectarian division between Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.
When Murad was 10 years old, Iraq fell under the occupation in 2003. Since then, a wide door opened for the extremist organizations to have a footing on Iraqi territories. At that time, Murad would never imagine that she, her family and the village residents will be victims of extremist organizations.
In her book “The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State” that was published by Penguin Random House LLC, Murad spoke about stories of atrocities that were not picked up by media.
Murad’s suffering started in August 2014, only two months after Daesh took control over the Iraqi province of Mosul and practiced atrocities in the village of Kojo in Sinjar city. The militants imposed a blockade on the residents inside the village and killed all men, while women were taken as slaves and forcing them to convert Islam. All Murad’s 26 family members were killed except for her sister.
During her abduction, Nadia was one of more than 3,400 children and women that were sold to Daesh members, she says, adding that dozens of women and girls were daily subjected to dozens times of rape and physical abuse.
The Nobel peace laureate tells that she managed to escape rape by one of the militants. However, she was give as a “gift” to another terrorist, who raped and tortured her.
Murad escaped from her captor’s house and hid at a house of a neighbouring family, who smuggled her outside Mosul.
Nadia became an international icon due to its combat against terrorism of Daesh. In September 2016, she was appointed as UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. Also, the European Parliament awarded her Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in October 2017; this award was shared with another Yazidi girl Lamyia Aji Bashar. In the same year, she won the fourth Václav Havel Human Rights Prize.