Last Girl (Murad) - Author Bio

Author Bio

Nadia Murad Basee Taha is a Yazidi human rights activist from Iraq, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and the first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking of the United Nations (UNODC). She was kidnapped and held by the Islamic State in August 2014. On 1 June 2017, she returned to her home village of Kocho after three years.

Murad was born in the village of Kocho in Sinjar, Iraq. Her family, of the Yazidi ethno-religious 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. The younger women, including Murad, were taken into slavery — more than 6,700.

She was held as a slave in the city of Mosul, beaten, burned with cigarettes, and raped when trying to escape. Nadia was able to escape after her captor left the house unlocked. She 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.

In February 2015, she gave her first testimony to reporters of the Belgian daily La Libre Belgique while she was staying in the Rwanga camp, living in a 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.

In December, 2015, Murad briefed the United Nations Security Council on the issue of human trafficking and conflict — it 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 reaches out to refugee and survivor communities, listening to testimonies of victims of trafficking and genocide.

As of September 2016, Attorney Amal Clooney spoke before the UN Office on Drugs and Crime 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 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.

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.

In 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."

Her memoir, The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State, was published in 2017.(From Wikipedia. Retrieved 1/18/2018 .)

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