The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.
The only place that Nadia Murad had even know was Kocho in Northern Iraq. This small village was part of the Yazidi community, and most of the population there were farmer or shepherds. She had simple dreams, wanting to open her own beauty salon or become a teacher. The war in Iraq had affected them a little, but not much. However, in August 2014 everything was to change forever. That was the day that ISIS rolled into the village, separated the men from the women and children and slaughtered the men, piling the bodies in a mass grave. Six of Nadia's brothers were among those killed in cold blood.
Nadia, her sisters and the other young women of the village had a different fate. They were packed onto buses and taken to Mosul to be sold as sex slaves. Forcibly converted to Islam and marry her captor, the second part of her story tells of the horrific time that she had at the hands of the thugs that 'owned' her. She was forced to marry one of her captors, beaten, whipped and raped repeatedly. She contemplated suicide or fighting back as this might bring death and a release from her misery. She didn't though, and when the chance came, she climbed over the wall and escaped through the streets of the city. Looking for shelter, she almost knocked on one door, but had second thoughts and went to another. Luckily for her, this was a Sunni family that took her in and gave her shelter.
They gave her the much-needed care required, and she managed to get in contact with the little that was left of her family. A plan was hatched to smuggle her through the ISIS checkpoints to get her to a refugee camp so she could join her displaced Yazidi people.
It wouldn't be a spoiler to say that she survived. ISIS implement a cruel and harsh version of Islam, with rules that are arbitrary and are their strict and warped interpretation of the Koran, that they are more than happy to break them as and when it suits. This, her heart-wrenching story, is to tell the world of the plight of this peaceful community and to force the world to pay attention to the genocide against the Yazidi. She is one brave woman and the momentum she has gathered since she escaped is inspirational and very moving, it had never even crossed her mind that she would ever address the UN or be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. This is another book that I can highly recommend, even though it is uncomfortable reading and I hope one day that they get the justice they deserve against ISIS. 4.5 stars
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