Nadia Murad’s keynote at Q Berlin on November 7, 2019, left a lasting impression. The Yezidi Nobel Peace Prize winner’s very presence was perhaps just as powerful as her words, as her will to persist and her commitment to protecting the rights of women and children were strikingly apparent to everyone in attendance. Murad’s dedication to ensure that crimes and abuse are not forgotten is in part galvanised by her own trauma. Her talk made clear that sexual violence is used as a weapon in many of the world’s conflicts.
On the initiative of Q Berlin, representatives of the German Bundestag and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs convened with Murad on November 8, 2019. In 2018, the 27-year-old was honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize and currently acts as Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations. The discussion illustrated the encouragement Murad draws from the prestigious award in her struggle on behalf of the Yezidi community; though she did not fail to emphasise the fact that further help is needed. To this day, the traces left in Murad’s hometown by the ISIS terror militia and their invasion in August 2014 remain sources of shock and horror. Their fighters murdered and raped, committing high crimes against humanity under the guise of supposed religiosity, hoping to eradicate Yeizidi communities in Syria and northern Iraq.
During her meeting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nadia Murad addressed her appeal to the international community. Her hopes lie especially with Germany, as Murad herself arrived in Baden-Württemberg in 2015, following her escape from ISIS imprisonment.
The plight of the Yezidi community – especially of Yezidi women – has not reached its end. More help is desperately needed to launch programs for Yezidi survivors and to provide opportunities for social reintegration, which is especially challenging for women who have fallen pregnant as the result of rape. Q Berlin seeks to raise awareness for this crucial issue and to support the dialogue between representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Bundestag, and the Yezidi community.
Copyright photo: Auswärtiges Amt