On the 5th of October, Nadia Murad Basee Taha was awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. She is a German based Yazide-Iraqi human rights activist. The winners were announced in Oslo, the Norwegian capital.
According to Berit Reiss-Andersen, the Nobel committee chair, she was awarded this prize with Denis Mukwege for their efforts stemmed at ending the use of sexual violence as weapon of war and armed conflict.
Nadia Murad is the first Iraqi to be awarded a Nobel Prize. She founded the Nadia’s Initiative, an organization which helps women and children who have been victims of genocide and human trafficking to build their lives and communities.
Ms Murad was tortured and raped by Islamic State militants after being kidnapped and taken captive. Not only did she lose her mother in the genocide, she endured 3 months as a sex slave under the ISIS militants. She was bought, sold and re-bought several times.
She later became the face of a campaign to free the Yazidi people. About 331 individuals and organisations were nominated for the prestigious peace award this year.
How Nadia Murad was kidnapped
In early August 2014, ISIS had invaded the Sinjar region of Northern Iraq. They had only one mission in mind – exterminating the Yazidis. According to Nadia,
They called us a “pagan minority”, and because we don’t have a holy book we have been described as “devil worshippers”.
In her village, Kocho, which was home to over 1800 people, over 300 men were shot dead of which 6 of them were her own brothers. Their bodies were buried in irrigation ditches.