A raw, terrifying account of religious genocide and life in captivity under the Islamic State by a young Yazidi woman who survived it.
Born and raised in Kocho, Iraq, Murad grew up hearing about the many genocides her people faced throughout history, but she never imagined she would witness one herself. She enjoyed a quiet childhood in her small farming village, surrounded by a large, loving extended family and the tightknit Yazidi community. But just outside the town limits, danger lingered as Daesh, otherwise known as the Islamic State, began to take control of northern Iraq. Murad was 21 years old when, in August 2014, IS militants laid siege to Kocho and irreparably changed the lives of everyone in the town. After their village leader announced that his people refused to convert to Islam despite threats of violence and death, Kocho's men were rounded up, shot, and buried in mass graves while their mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, and young sons watched from a schoolhouse window before being transported to an even grimmer fate. Older women, such as Murad's mother, were later murdered, young boys were forced into IS, and the girls and younger women like the author were sold into the IS slave trade, where they were subjected to a daily routine of servitude, violence, and rape. Held captive by a group of particularly brutal militants, Murad attempted to flee once before she was able to escape with the help of one remarkable family willing to risk their lives to save hers. With vivid detail and genuine, heartbreaking emotion, the author lays bare not only her unimaginable tragedy, but also the tragedies of an entire people whose plight is largely ignored by the rest of the world. Human rights lawyer and activist Amal Clooney provides the foreword.
A devastating yet ultimately inspiring memoir that doubles as an urgent call to action.