The Last Girl by Nadia Murad
In 10 words or less: Wow! A completely terrifying, humbling, needed story.
Without a doubt, Nadia Murad’s story has taught me more about Iraqi history (and non-European global history) than any class I’d taken in my nearly 20 years of formal schooling. The historical context of this complex historical timeline, which I’d only been introduced to through my 11th grade study of The Kite Runner, is complicated, profound, and incredibly important. This book shed light on the politics, wars, and stories of triumph in the Middle East that I had been ignorant to for far too long.
But, more than a study of wars and political parties, TLG is the story of a young woman whose life is forever changed by the rise of ISIS and the genocide and enslavement of Yazidi Iraqis. Nadia’s story shows the immense cost of silence and complacency in times of persecution and the tremendous cost that “politics” has on the lives of those in need. Similar to my school-aged studies of the Holocaust, the situation in Iraq highlights the true danger of silence from those with real power and influence.
After reading this book–a chronicle of trauma, hopelessness, loss, yet a story of courage, faith and family–I spend a lot of time reflecting on my own life. What things are most important to me and why? How does my privilege, as an American citizen, affect my view of the world? What can I do to get involved in the fight for human rights abroad?
While I don’t have all the answers now, this thought-provoking work kicked off the sort of reflection I need refine and develop my lifetime goals.