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Teachers College - Russell Hall
525 W 120th St #91, New York, NY 10027


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Apr 16 2024


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Formats (virtual, in person, hybrid)


Book Club: Last Girl, by Nadia Murad

The land that made us special also made us vulneable. Yazidis have been persecuted for centureis because of our religious beliefs, and, compared to most Yazidi twns and villages, Kocho is far from Mount Sinjar, the high, narrow mountain that has sheltered us for generations. For a long time we had been pulled between the competing forces of Iraq’s Sunni Arabs and Sunni Kurds, sked to deny our Yazidi heritage and confrm to Kurdish or Arab identities.

— Nadia Murad, The Last Girl, Ch. 1, p.4


Our third memoir for Spring 2023 Book Club is The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State, by Nadia Murad (New York: Duggan Books, 2017). Please join us to discuss this New York Times bestselling memoir, a harrowing account of the genocide against the Yazidi ethno-religious minority in Iraq and Nadia’s imprisonment by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS).

“In this intimate memoir of survival, a former captive of the Islamic State tells her harrowing and ultimately inspiring story. Nadia Murad was born and raised in Kocho, a small village of farmers and shepherds in northern Iraq. A member of the Yazidi community, she and her brothers and sisters lived a quiet life. Nadia had dreams of becoming a history teacher or opening her own beauty salon. On August 15th, 2014, when Nadia was just twenty-one years old, this life ended. Islamic State militants massacred the people of her village, executing men who refused to convert to Islam and women too old to become sex slaves. Six of Nadia’s brothers were killed, and her mother soon after, their bodies swept into mass graves. Nadia was taken to Mosul and forced, along with thousands of other Yazidi girls, into the ISIS slave trade. Nadia would be held captive by several militants and repeatedly raped and beaten. Finally, she managed a narrow escape through the streets of Mosul, finding shelter in the home of a Sunni Muslim family whose eldest son risked his life to smuggle her to safety. Today, Nadia’s story–as a witness to the Islamic State’s brutality, a survivor of rape, a refugee, a Yazidi–has forced the world to pay attention to the ongoing genocide in Iraq. It is a call to action, a testament to the human will to survive, and a love letter to a lost country, a fragile community, and a family torn apart by war.” — publisher’s description

Nadia Murad is a leading advocate for survivors of genocide and sexual violence and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. She is the recipient of the Vaclav Havel Huan Rights Prize and the Sakharov Prize, and is the UN’s first Goodwill Ambassdor for the Dignity of Survivors in Human Trafficking. Together with Yazda, a Yazidi rights organization, she is curently working to bring the Islamic State before the International Criminal Current on charges of genocide and crmes against humanity. She is also the founder of Nadia’s Initiative, a program dedicated to helping survivors of genocide and human trafficking to heal and rebuild their communiities.

Where: 305 Russell

Spring Book Club is co-sponsored by the Graduate Student Writing Center. The first 5 students to register will receive a free copy! Bring your lunch or enjoy a light snack with us!

We will resume Book Club in the Fall, and until then, wish you a Happy Summer!