ISIL survivior, Nadia Murad Basee Taha announces new initiative following her appointment as UN Goodwill Ambassador.
Read and download the full media advisory below or read the original here
On September 16, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Nadia Murad Basee Taha, who survived trafficking at the hands of ISIL, will announce a new initiative at an event hosted by editor and publishing entrepreneur Tina Brown. The announcement immediately follows Murad's appointment as the “United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.”
The new initiative, "Nadia's Initiative,” (www.nadiamurad.org ) is dedicated to 1) countering global terrorism through public awareness, and 2) helping women and children victimized by genocide and crimes against humanity heal and re-build their communities. Nadia’s Initiative will focus on advocating for the countless victims of mass atrocities as well as developing and supporting field programs in the areas of healthcare, psychosocial support and education for women and children.
The initiative will be under the umbrella of Yazda, a leading non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the Yazidi community and other minorities in the aftermath of the genocide committed by ISIL. Ms. Murad will serve as initiative chairwoman and be the sole owner of the program. A dedicated management team will be assigned. support by an advisory committee.
A HOLISTIC APPROACH
The two biggest challenges of our times are terrorism and countless suffering of women and children victimized by violence and war. Nadia approach will focus on de-radicalization of the youth through public awareness and support for the victims, especially for the survivors of trafficking and genocide who need more than traditional aid. Suffering individuals and their damaged communities need support over many years to recover. Long term, holistic approaches to healing traumatized victims is desperately needed. Unfortunately, this need is often overlooked by existing governments and NGOs. Nadia's Initiative aims to meet this need. Having emerged from Nadia's own experiences, the programs reflect a knowledge of real, immediate needs.
Nadia Murad was born and raised in the quiet agricultural village of Kocho, Iraq – Christians and Muslims 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 19 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.