Nobel laureate Murad to speak at Sharjah event

Sharjah: Iraqi human rights activist and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad — who was held for three months by Daesh — will make her first formal public appearance at an upcoming conference in Sharjah focusing on youth and the future, said the The Big Heart Foundation on Monday.

Murad will join discussions at the third edition of the Investing in the Future Conference October 24—25 to share her inspiring story of survival and in turn “shed light on the how the youth in the MENA region can overcome the challenges they face surrounded by war and conflict,” said the foundation in a press release.

The first Iraqi recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict, Murad is expected to speak at the conference themed ‘Youth — Crisis Challenges and Development Opportunities’ to tell Mena region youth “how she transformed her sufferings into a formidable example of peaceful resistance, courage, patience and hope,” organisers said.

Mariam Al Hammadi, director of The Big Heart Foundation, said: “It is an honour to be bringing a global role model for the youth who has emerged in our region, and whose life is a reflection of what millions of youth in Mena are being subjected to. By offering her the [conference] platform, we aim to communicate her inspiring message to innocent women and youth who are victims of war of crises; and show them that their determination and collective strength be key to transforming their sufferings and agony into triumph and a hope-filled future. Nadia is an example to everyone.”

“Nadia’s presence at [the conference] is a big success in furthering our objective to make the region’s youth’s voice heard, offer them a platform to meet leading rights advocates, international experts, state entities and NGOs, and share their challenges as well as their vision about the future and the ways they aim to shape it,” Al Hammadi said.

In September 2016, Nadia Murad was appointed as the first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), defending the rights of 1,300 Yazidi women were still captives by Daesh.

Her inspiring memoir The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State (Little, Brown Book Group: New York, 2017) takes us from her peaceful childhood in a remote village in Iraq through loss and brutality to safety in Germany.

Presently, Nadia and her team are focused on the Sinjar region of Iraq through the foundation’s newly-created Sinjar Action Fund.

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