I’ve had The Last Girl on my TBR ever since Scribd started advertising it a while back but the subject matter was a little much for me at the time. I know these things happen and there are all kinds of terrible things happening to women all over the world and it can all seem so very impossible to do anything at all about. When I saw that Murad had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this year, I figured it was time to finally pick it up.
Like the stories of the Peace Prize winners before her, Murad’s story is horrific. Life wasn’t easy before ISIS took her but nothing would compare to being in their hands. I had never heard of a Yazidi, let alone the genocide of Yazidis by ISIS in 2014. Even with some of the other books I’ve read about horrific things that people have gone through, I wasn’t prepared for Murad’s story and the way that each atrocity seemed so easy for the perpetrators to commit in this day and age. I realize that may sound strange but I just can’t get over the way her rapists were so normal and yet so horrible. How do people convince themselves to not see other people as people?
Murad doesn’t pull any punches as she tells her story. She doesn’t go easy on people who could have stopped the genocide just because they helped a little later. She doesn’t make excuses for anyone who looked the other way or acted too late. She doesn’t make it sound like the horror of her story was somehow unique either. All the girls and women that were taken had similar stories and their difference weren’t in what they went through so much as whether or not they were able to escape. I’m amazed by all the ways they came up with to get to those who did escape or were able to be rescued.
These stories are important for people everywhere to know about, which makes me appreciate Scribd all the more for pushing this book for as long as it had been. Stories like this are happening in our world and pretending they don’t happen will only let these crimes persist. Murad has founded Nadia’s Initiative since publishing the book and works on “increasing advocacy for women and minorities and assisting to stabilize and redevelop communities in crisis”. Personally, I recommend everyone read her book and support her cause in whatever way possible.