Nadia Murad and Angelina Jolie met with Yazidi survivors of the genocide in Iraq
Nadia Murad and Angelina Jolie made a joint visit to the Sinjar region in northern Iraq to celebrate the progress made in the reconstruction of the region and highlight the needs of Yazidi survivors nine years after Yazidi genocide committed by ISIS terrorists.
The girls visited Nadia's village, her former school and her childhood home, as well as a kindergarten, a new medical center and other facilities restored as part of the Nadia Initiative projects. Angelina and Nadia spoke with women and children who survived the genocide, many of whom also survived sexual slavery and returned to Sinjar in the hope of building a better future for themselves and their families. They also met with members of other conflict-affected and displaced Iraqi communities.
In August 2014, the community of the ethno-religious minority of Yazidis in Sinjar was attacked by ISIS in a systematic attempt to wipe them off the face of the earth. Thousands of people were killed, hundreds of thousands were displaced, and more than 6,000 women and children were enslaved. 80% of the public and 70% of the private infrastructure in Sinjar was destroyed in an attempt to prevent survivors from returning safely to their places of origin.
"Angelina Jolie has played an important role in raising awareness and meeting the needs of women, children and refugees around the world. I enjoy the opportunity to show such a dedicated defender of my homeland, the incredible progress we have made on the road to recovery, and the remaining needs of my community," said Nadia Murad, founder of the Nadia Initiative.
In turn, Angelina Jolie said: "It is a great honor for me to return to Iraq, this time to support the work of my friend Nadia Murad and other local Yazidis who are rebuilding their lives after suffering the horrors. I have witnessed the progress they have made, but also the need for long-term international commitments to support their work and leadership. Yazidi survivors continue to struggle with injuries, insecurity, displacement and slow progress in paying damages. I have met families who are still looking for answers about their missing loved ones. Local people deserve respect and support.
" Women and children suffer disproportionately from violence all over the world. The Nadia Initiative's post-conflict reconstruction projects are designed to focus on the specific needs and perspectives of survivors and vulnerable groups recovering from conflict-related sexual violence and genocide.
About Angelina Jolie:
Angelina Jolie is a human rights activist, humanitarian, actress and director. She has spent more than two decades working to protect the rights of refugees and other displaced persons, fighting impunity for violence against women and girls. Angelina Jolie became a UN goodwill ambassador in 2001, in December 2022 she left this post. She has conducted more than 60 field missions to refugees around the world. The visit to Sinjar is Angelina's sixth visit to meet displaced people in Iraq since 2007. Her last visit was to Mosul in June 2018, less than a year after the liberation of the city from ISIS forces.
About Nadia Murad:
Nadia Murad, a Yazidi, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, survivor of genocide and sexual violence, advocates for gender equality, prevention of conflict—related sexual violence, and rebuilding communities in crisis. She is the founder and President of Nadia's Initiative, the first Goodwill Ambassador of UNODC for the protection of the Dignity of Survivors of human trafficking, and was the driving force behind the development and adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2379, which established the United Nations Investigative Team to promote Accountability for crimes committed by Daesh/ISIS (UNITAD). She is the author of her bestseller "The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity and My Fight against the Islamic State".
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