I have read books on war, books on the holocaust, the genocide and the aftermath. But, if there is one book in recent times which made me sit up and reflect, it’s got to be The Last Girl– the story of Nadia Murad, who was held captive by the ISIS, and her struggle to break free. The book is a brilliant narrative of her painful years, when the ISISI forced out her entire village, brutally torturing and killing people.
Nadia and her Yazidi community
Born in Kocho, a village in the Northern part of Iraq, Nadia belonged to the Yazidi community. The community follows its own age old traditions and rituals; it is close knit and lived a simple life mostly out of farming. For the Islamic militants, this community was something to detest. They believed in eradicating the “non-believers”. Either members convert to Islam, or else they were forced to embrace death. On August 15th 2014, with tensions mounting up in Iraq, the militants storm into Kocho village, pulling out the so called non-believers.
The ruthless torture
The men are brutally tortured and murdered; the women raped and forced into sexual slavery. Nadia’s family is destroyed. Six of her brothers are killed and their bodies pile on top of each other in a mass grave. The women are herded to various parts of the country and sold in a thriving ISISI slave trade. Young girls are sold multiple times to different men, where they are not only sexually exploited, but also tormented physically and mentally. Escape is almost impossible and most girls resort to killing themselves. Nadia, herself, is held captive by several men, raped and beaten ruthlessly. Finally, she finds a way to escape, a narrow one indeed, to the home of a kind hearted soul, who finds a way to smuggle her out to safety.
“I want to be the last girl in the world with a story like mine.”
― Nadia Murad,
Today, Nadia lives to tell her story
A human rights activist, she travels the globe doing her best to help those still caught in the brutality of sex slavery and genocide in the world. Narrated well, succinct and poignant, this book moved me beyond words. It’s a standing testament to what it means to be a survivor. It is a testament to the human will to go on.
You may cry a little or just sigh, but this book is not to be ignored. Worth every bit of your time!
The book is available on Amazon in paperback and e-book format.
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