The memoir of Defend International co-founder, Dr. Widad Akreyi, titled The Daughter of Kurdland: A Life Dedicated to Humankind has been published in English, Danish and Arabic.
Written in passionate prose, the book provides a chronicle of Dr. Widad’s experiences and the events that have shaped her life.
Born in the mountains of Kurdland, Dr. Widad was just seven years old when she stood up against the mounting atrocities of the Iraqi Baath Party and defended her rights and those of her classmates, which well-nigh cost her her life.
Her reluctance to bow to pressure placed her on the blacklist of unwanted Kurds who later were to be slaughtered in a genocide called Anfal that took place in the late 1980s. She disobeyed authority, volunteered to help the persecuted and documented crimes against humanity.
Her quest for peace, freedom and knowledge transformed her, making her human rights champion and politician, taking her to a new continent, where she survived a cardiac arrest at the age of 26. Despite incredible hardships she earned a Master’s degree in genetics and a PhD in global health and epidemiology and has been awarded several prestigious awards. For more information you can visit her website widad.org
About The Book
The Kurdish activist who became a global icon
A powerful portrayal of a little school girl who defied Saddam Hussein’s regime, lived through two genocides and became an award-winning champion for human rights.
By combining crisp prose with utterly enthralling storytelling, Widad pulls back the curtain to reveal in vivid detail and with unflinching honesty the experiences that have shaped her — from her childhood in Kurdistan region where she was doomed to persecution, to her years as a university student undertaking the grueling task of chronicling crimes against humanity when she was just 17 years old, to her phenomenal resilience in exile. The Daughter of Kurdland takes the reader on an intimate journey to uncover deep truths that are valid in any age but especially so in our present context. Sparkling with wit and wisdom, this book poses universal questions: Should we always do what others tell us to do? How important is it to defy norms? How much of ourselves should we be willing to compromise for the sake of others? And how much should we be prepared to pay?
A profile in courage, Widad is today an international icon for peace and women empowerment, and is the youngest winner of the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award, ranked among world-renowned figures like John F. Kennedy, Mother Teresa, Desmond Tutu and Dalai Lama. A testament to the power of human endurance, The Daughter of Kurdland will inspire and surprise men and women alike.
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