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Nadia Murad

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Nadia Murad
Nadia Murad in 2018
Murad in 2018
Nadia Murad Basee Taha

1993 (age 24–25)
Nationality Yazidi
Citizenship  Iraq
Notable work
The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State
Nadia Murad - On Her Shoulders (Film)

Nadia Murad Basee Taha (Arabic: نادية مراد باسي طه‎; born 1993 in Kocho, Sinjar, Iraq)[1] is an Iraqi Yazidi[2][3] human rights activist who lives in Germany.[3] In 2014 she was kidnapped from her hometown Kocho and held by the Islamic State for three months.[4] 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".[5] She is the first Iraqi and Yazidi to be awarded a Nobel prize.[6]

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".[7]

Early life and capture by ISIS

Murad was born in the village of Kocho in Sinjar District, Iraq.[8] Her family, of the Yazidi ethno-religious minority, were farmers.[9] 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 into slavery. That year, Murad was one of more than 6,700 Yazidi women taken prisoner by Islamic State in Iraq.[10] She was captured on 15 September 2014.[11] She was held as a slave in the city of Mosul, and beaten, burned with cigarettes, and raped when trying to escape. Nadia was able to escape after her captor left the house unlocked.[11] 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.[12] She was out of ISIS territory on early September 2014[13] or in November 2014.[11]

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 container.[13] 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.[14][15]

Career and activism

On 16 December 2015, Murad briefed the United Nations Security Council on the issue of human trafficking and conflict. This was the first time the Council was ever briefed on human trafficking.[9][16] 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.[17] Murad reached out to refugee and survivor communities, listening to testimonies of victims of trafficking and genocide.[18]

As of 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[19] to represent Murad as a client in legal action against ISIL commanders.[17][18][20] 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 both online, on Facebook and in the Mideast that is still active today.[10] Murad has received serious threats to her safety as a result of her work.[9]

Poster of Nadia Murad speaking to the UN Security Council at the Yazidi Temple of Lalish, Kurdistan-Iraq

In September 2016, Murad announced Nadia's Initiative at an event hosted by Tina Brown in New York City. The initiative will provide advocacy and assistance to victims of genocide.[21] That same month she was named the first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human trafficking of the United Nations (UNODC).[22]

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".[23]

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.[24][25]

Personal life

In August 2018, Murad became engaged to fellow Yazidi human rights activist Abid Shamdeen.[26]

Awards and honours


  • 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)


  • Nadia Murad - On Her Shoulders

See also


  1. ^ By Editorial Staff (20 August 2018). "Iraqi Yazidi human rights activist Nadia Murad gets married". Kurd Net - Daily News.
  2. ^ Murad, Nadia; Krajeski, Jenna (2017-11-07). The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity and My Fight Against the Islamic State. Little, Brown Book Group. ISBN 9780349009766.
  3. ^ a b Siddique, Haroon; Maclean, Ruth (5 October 2018). "Nobel peace prize 2018 won by Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad – as it happened". The Guardian.
  4. ^ Westcott, Lucy (19 March 2016). "ISIS sex slavery survivor on a mission to save Yazidi women and girls". Newsweek. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Announcement" (PDF). The Nobel Peace Prize.
  6. ^ "Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad". BBC News. 5 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Nadia Murad". Forbes. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Who is the Nobel Peace Prize 2018 winner Nadia Murad?".
  9. ^ a b c Murad Basee Taha, Nadia (16 December 2015). "Nadia Murad Basee Taha (ISIL victim) on Trafficking of persons in situations of conflict – Security Council, 7585th meeting" (Video). United Nations Television (UNTV). Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  10. ^ a b c "Appointment Ceremony of Ms. Nadia Murad Basee Taha As UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking on the Occasion of the International Day of Peace" (Video). United Nations Television (UNTV). 16 September 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  11. ^ a b c Alter, Charlotte (20 December 2015). "A Yezidi Woman Who Escaped ISIS Slavery Tells Her Story". Time. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  12. ^ Collard, Rebecca (13 July 2018). "He Helped Iraq's Most Famous Refugee Escape ISIS. Now He's the One Who Needs Help". Time. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  13. ^ a b Lamfalussy, Christophe (22 February 2015). "La sixième nuit j'ai été violée par tous les gardes, Salman a dit: elle est à vous maintenant".
  14. ^ Alter, Charlotte (20 December 2015). "Yezidi Girl Who Escaped Isis Sex Slavery: Please Help Us". Time. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  15. ^ Whyte, Lara (18 February 2016). "'Every Part of Me Changed in Their Hands': A Former ISIS Sex Slave Speaks Out". Broadly. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  16. ^ "ظهورجريء للفتاة الازيديية نادية مراد ابكى اعضاءً في مجلس الامن وصفق لها الحاضرون". عراق برس. 18 December 2015.
  17. ^ a b Harris, Elise (19 September 2016). "Amal Clooney, George's wife, takes on U.N. and ISIS". The Washington Times. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  18. ^ a b McFadden, Cynthia; Whitman, Jake; Rappleye, Hannah (19 September 2016). "Amal Clooney Takes on ISIS for 'Clear Case of Genocide' of Yazidis'". NBC News. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  19. ^ Allum, Cynthia (9 June 2016). "Exclusive: Amal Clooney to represent ISIS survivor Nadia Murad and victims of Yazidi genocide". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  20. ^ Lara, Maria Mercedes (19 September 2016). "Watch: Amal Clooney Reveals She and George Talked About the 'Risks' of Taking on ISIS – 'I Mean, This Is My Work'". People. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  21. ^ "Nadia's Initiative". Uncommon Union. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  22. ^ del Campo, Carlos Gomez (16 September 2016). "Human trafficking survivor Nadia Murad named UNODC Goodwill Ambassador". United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  23. ^ "A Meeting with his Holiness Pope Francis". 8 May 2017.
  24. ^ "The Last Girl". 17 August 2017.
  25. ^ @NadiaMuradBasee (23 October 2017). "Honored to announce my memoir THE LAST GIRL will be published by @CrownPublishingGroup on Nov 7th" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  26. ^ "Yazidi Islamic State survivor gets engaged". BBC News. 20 August 2018.
  27. ^ Monasebian, Simone (14 September 2016). "Nadia Murad Basee Taha to be appointed Goodwill Ambassador by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime on 16th September". United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  28. ^ "Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2016 awarded to Nadia Murad". PACE News. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  29. ^ "Why I am nominating Nadia Murad for Sakharov Prize". Beatriz Becerra. 12 September 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  30. ^ Becerra Basterrechea, Beatriz (20 July 2016). "Yazidi genocide victims deserve European Parliament prize". EurActiv. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  31. ^ "EU Parliament awards Sakharov prize to Yazidi women". 27 October 2016.
  32. ^ Callimachi, Rukmini; Gettleman, Jeffrey; Kulish, Nicholas; Mueller, Benjamin (5 October 2018). "Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for Fighting Sexual Violence". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 October 2018.

External links

  • Nadia's Initiative
  • Nadia Murad on Twitter
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
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