Words by Iraqi human rights activist and Nobel laureate Nadia Murad to believe in humanity
Nadia Murad grew up with a dream of owning a beauty parlour in her hometown of Kojo, Iraq, till her life changed in an instant at 19 when the ISIS attacked her village and killed 600 Yazidi men. Younger women, including herself, were beaten, burned with cigarettes, and raped.
A survivor of rape and human trafficking, she escaped to a refugee camp in Germany in 2015 and has been relentlessly fighting for the restoration of dignity and human rights ever since.
A United Nations’ Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking, she received Nobel Peace Prize for her “efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict" in 2018.
The activist scripted her journey in an intimate memoir titled The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State.
These 12 quotes by Nadia Murad shows that she is a force for change.
“I still think that being forced to leave your home out of fear is one of the worst injustices a human being can face.”
“My story, told honestly and matter-of-factly, is the best weapon I have against terrorism, and I plan on using it until those terrorists are put on trial.”
“I do not seek more sympathy; I want to translate those feelings into actions on the ground.”
“Deciding to be honest was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made, and also the most important.”
“We want people to accept women’s messages so women wouldn’t be afraid to talk about what they went through.”
“After what happened to me, I realise the most difficult thing is to be a woman.”
“I will go back to my life when women in captivity go back to their lives, when my community has a place, when I see people accountable for their crimes.”
“We must do more than merely endure. We must work towards a future in which the entire world, not just the Yazidis, say ‘never again’.”
“Education plays an essential role in nurturing civilised societies that believe in tolerance and peace. Therefore, we must invest in our children because children, like a blank slate, can be taught tolerance and co-existence instead of hatred and sectarianism.”
“Understanding that peace is possible is ultimately about standing up for your own human rights. That is why we all benefit from peaceful societies, which honor those rights. This vision of peace depends on justice, healing, and support for victimised communities. We must see the reality of this, educate our children to expect it, and not be distracted by hatred.”
“The world has only one border; it is called humanity. The differences between us are small compared to our shared humanity. From this stage, I beg you all to put humans first and that you all support peace.”
“I want to be the last girl in the world with a story like mine.”
Edited by Megha Reddy