Friday 19 January 2018

✪ The Last Girl; My Story of Captivity, and my fight against Islamic State ✪ Nadia Murad ✪

In this intimate memoir of survival, a former captive of the Islamic State tells her harrowing and ultimately inspiring story.

Nadia Murad was born and raised in Kocho, a small village of farmers and shepherds in northern Iraq. A member of the Yazidi community, she and her brothers and sisters lived a quiet life. Nadia had dreams of becoming a history teacher or opening her own beauty salon.

On August 15th, 2014, when Nadia was just twenty-one years old, this life ended. Islamic State militants massacred the people of her village, executing men who refused to convert to Islam and women too old to become sex slaves. Six of Nadia's brothers were killed, and her mother soon after, their bodies swept into mass graves. Nadia was taken to Mosul and forced, along with thousands of other Yazidi girls, into the ISIS slave trade.

Nadia would be held captive by several militants and repeatedly raped and beaten. Finally, she managed a narrow escape through the streets of Mosul, finding shelter in the home of a Sunni Muslim family whose eldest son risked his life to smuggle her to safety.

Today, Nadia's story--as a witness to the Islamic State's brutality, a survivor of rape, a refugee, a Yazidi--has forced the world to pay attention to the ongoing genocide in Iraq. It is a call to action, a testament to the human will to survive, and a love letter to a lost country, a fragile community, and a family torn apart by war.

Copy received from Hachette Australia for an honest review

This book. Everyone, and I mean everyone needs to read this book.

It is not an easy book to read.  Not because it is bad, but because of the subject matter.  We all know these atrocities occur, as we sit in our air conditioned lounge rooms, watching the news saying "oh how sad", then switching channels.

Nadia's first hand account of what is happening is heartbreaking. It is sickening. It is frightening.  Sitting on the other side of the world, it is easy to think that these things aren't really happening.

Nadia's story of what happened to her, to her family, to her whole village had me bawling like a baby.  I had to put the book aside many times, and pick up something light and frivolous, as it was the only way I could get through the book without it breaking me.

These girls, these women and their families are absolutely amazing.  The strength, the bravery they show to get through the nightmare that is the lives every single day puts me to shame.  I know I like to think that I would do the right thing, that I could be brave like them, but in reality, who knows. 

I had such a visceral reaction to this book.  Even a day after finishing it, I can't stop thinking about it.  We are so lucky to have a voice, a voice that is being heard.

Now Nadia's voice is speaking out for all the girls and women who have been stolen, tortured, raped.  She is letting the world know the truth of what is happening.

She is awe-inspiring.

So now we need to spread her word, feel her pain, use our voices to stop it happening.