A young Yazidi woman who was held hostage by “Islamic State” (IS) fighters in Iraq for three months was hosted by Ain Shams and Cairo Universities, following her meeting with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi Saturday.
Nadia Murad, 21, lived in Kocho, a village in northern Iraq, with her mother and siblings. She was kidnapped in August 2014 from her home by IS fighters and taken to Mosul, an IS stronghild. She was reportedly held in a building in Mosul with thousands of other Yazidi families. She managed to escape after three months of alleged rape and torture.
Ain Shams University hosted Murad Monday to retell her story, discuss IS terrorism, and ways to confront it, after she was hosted by Cairo University Sunday.
During her visit, Minister of Higher Education Ashraf El-Sheihy granted Murad a scholarship to study history at Ain Shams University, and pledged to provide her with all the required support to become a history teacher.
After the visit she tweeted: “Pleased to speak at University of Ain Shams and tell all the students and faculty, it is on you to end terrorism”. Student Union President at Ain Shams University Ahmed Al-Kady said all the students support her and reject violence and terrorism.
During her visit to Cairo University, she called on students to organise marches against IS brutality, to shed light on what Yazidis suffered under their control, and to stand beside women worldwide.
“About 80 women were killed. My mother was one of them because IS jihadists did not like her body. I was separated based on my body and age alongside another 150 women to be taken to IS bases,” she said during the visit in Cairo University, according to Kurdistan news.
At the end of the visit, she thanked the university for hosting her and giving her awards. “I spoke at Cairo University about my story, to revolutionise youths, absorb cultural differences, and defeat radicalism,” Murad tweeted.
She travelled to New York City in December and gave a speech at the United Nations Security Council about her story inside IS’ system of sexual enslavement, and highlighted the plight of the Yazidi people. After her speech in the UN, she requested to meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
Upon her arrival in Egypt, she tweeted: “I am in Egypt to ask the Islamic world to stand firmly and clearly against IS; they commit rape and genocide crimes…”
During her meeting with Al-Sisi, she narrated her story with IS, illustrated the Yazidis’ concerns, and IS’ violations against Yazidis in Iraq. Murad said IS is using the name of Islam to justify their crimes.
Al-Sisi condemned IS’ violence and terror crimes during the meeting, and noted that their action is not related to Islam and confirmed his solidarity with the people of Iraq. He told Murad that Al-Azhar is working on confronting extremism to improve the image of Islam worldwide. He further confirmed that the Islamic civilisation has historically protected all citizens of different religions.
Murad also requested to meet with scholars from Al-Azhar to discuss how IS is distorting the image of Islam with their crimes, and stressed that Islamic countries should stand against IS’ crimes and protect the monitories from their atrocities.
She called on Al-Sisi to recognise what is happening to the Yazidi people and to help liberating 3,400 women and children currently held hostage by IS.