Nadia Murad was born and raised in the quiet agricultural village of Kocho, Iraq – Yazidis and other communities lived harmoniously as neighbors. A member of the Yazidi community, she and her family - comprised of many brothers and sisters - lived a peaceful, happy life. Nadia was in secondary school and had dreams of becoming a history teacher and a make-up artist.
Nadia’s peaceful existence ended on August 3, 2014, when the so-called Islamic State – ISIS – attacked her village, beginning its savage genocidal campaign against the Yazidi people. Six of Nadia’s nine brothers were executed on the spot. Nadia, along with her two sisters and thousands of other men, women and children were taken captive, subjected to unspeakable crimes. The captives were given a choice – convert to Islam or be executed. A third choice was provided to the young girls and women – sexual enslavement. Nadia was only 21 years old. Her and her two sisters were enslaved – their mother was executed as she was “too old” to be enslaved.
Nadia was initially held hostage in a building with thousands of families. She witnessed young children given to ISIS soldiers as “sexual” gifts. The first man that approached Nadia to take her, was significantly older and large in size, Nadia called out she was too young and was beaten. Nadia was raped and tortured on a daily basis and when she was caught trying to escape she was severely beaten.
After facing an unimaginable brutality, Nadia was able to escaped.
Nadia immigrated to Germany where she received medical attention and reunited with other survivors. In total, Nadia lost 18 family members. The majority has been killed but some might still be alive being held captive. With the assistance of Yazda, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Yazidi survivors and defend rights of marganized ethnical and religious minorities, Nadia has been able to tell her story on the world stage, forcing world leaders to listen to the horrors of the on-going genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Nadia is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.