Jessica's Reviews > The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State

The Last Girl by Nadia Murad
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it was amazing
Read 2 times. Last read May 10, 2018 to May 14, 2018.

Nadia Murad takes Western readers into a world few of them are aware even exists: the settlements of the Yazidi community in northern Iraq. Nadia's people live a simple subsistence lifestyle, farming and raising sheep for local trade, and worship according to the beliefs of their religion, which Nadia explains with patience and grace. She is born and comes of age in a period of war - first the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, and then the subsequent civil war and all that followed. The Syrian civil war further destabilizes her homeland...and then ISIS moves into areas nearby.

As Nadia witnesses the destruction first, of her family's sense of security, and then, of their very home and village, she remains passionate and clear-eyed about the immorality of what she sees. Nadia herself is captured by ISIS, forced into sexual slavery and kept locked away from society. But she does not lose her faith - either in her religion or in her fellow men and women. Her story of living through hellish circumstances, her successful flight to freedom, and her stubborn resilience in fighting the Islamic State even after all that they have done to destroy her and her family is riveting and instructive. Anyone who takes the time to read this will see that the ongoing problems in the Middle East cannot and are not ones that can be understood in stark terms of "good guys" and "bad guys," or "Arabs" versus "Americans" or "Muslims" versus "Christians" -- any of the hysterical and simple-minded explanations for what's amiss and how to fix it pale and fall away once you become beguiled by Nadia and her tale.

This book should be a must-read for anyone curious about the world today, skeptical of the need for American intervention abroad, and lacking understanding about geopolitics. Nadia has much to teach us, and judging from her book, I have few doubts that her young, strong voice is here to stay.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
May 10, 2018 – Started Reading
May 14, 2018 – Finished Reading
July 26, 2018 – Shelved

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