As a survivor of sexual trauma and someone who lives with complex PTSD every day, I have dedicated my work as an artist to speaking up for and empowering those whose lives have been hijacked by trauma.
Right now, there are thousands of Yazidi girls and women enslaved by ISIS. The New York Times reports that “the Islamic State’s sex trade appears to be based solely on enslaving women and girls from the Yazidi minority. As yet, there has been no widespread campaign aimed at enslaving women from other religious minorities” (ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape). Nadia Murad, who survived and escaped enslavement, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism.
A Danish friend of mine is currently working with Yazidi refugees in Germany. She told me that, although their religion does not typically involve wearing a head covering, these women have started wearing veils to show that, after being victims of mass rape by ISIS, they are dead inside. They only keep living so they can be there for their families and for each other.
This is something that resonates with me so strongly that I have to stand with these women.
Tonight I will be playing at Shrine World Music Venue in Harlem, and I will be wearing a veil to support the Yazidi women who are currently enslaved, and those who now have the long journey of recovery. From 9-10 EST, you can come to see the show in NYC, or watch a live stream for free.
Please help to share the stories of these women by sharing the linked news articles, and by visiting www.yazda.org. You can also follow @nadiamuradbasee on Twitter and search hashtag #Yazidi to retweet petitions and other calls for help.