WOMEN UNDER 30: Nadia Murad (Iraq/Germany)
Play • 8 min

Today I bring to you the story of Nadia Murad, an Iraqi activist and Nobel Prize laureate working to help women and children victimized by genocide, mass atrocities, and human trafficking to heal and rebuild their lives and communities.

@nadia_murad was born in a village in Northern Iraq to a family of Yazidi farmers. When she was 19 years old, ISIL fighters rounded up the Yazidi community in the village and killed 600 people, including six of her brothers & stepbrothers. They then took women and girls into slavery - including Nadia herself. In 2014, Nadia was one of more than 6,700 Yazidi women & girls taken prisoner by ISIL in Iraq.

She was held as a slave almost 100 miles from her former home; beaten, burned with cigarettes, & raped. She escaped a couple of months later and a neighboring family helped smuggle her to a refugee camp about 50 miles away.

Through a German refugee relief program, she was able to leave the refugee camp & establish a new permanent home, where she then became a UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human trafficking and founded her own organization, @nadiasinitiative - working to advocate for survivors of sexual violence & genocide.

In 2016 alongside attorney Amal Clooney, she took on ISIL commanders in legal action. In 2017, she released her memoir. In 2018, her life story and advocacy was featured in a documentary. And then she received the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.

Certainly we can find inspiration in her ability to overcome the horrific trauma of her past, but even more than that, we can use her story as motivation to raise our own awareness about what is going on all over the world. Human trafficking and genocide are taking place today, and no part of the world is immune. It is imperative that we learn more about these issues and the people who are both vulnerable and who have survived.

Find ways to get involved in your own community - to learn about human trafficking, refugee support, and other resources for survivors of human rights violations. If we all get involved in at least some capacity, we can truly change the world.


Follow Nadia's Initiative on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nadiasinitiative/

Follow Nadia on Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/nadia_murad/ 


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