Nobel Peace Prize winner pledges the award to making peace

October 10, 2018

Nadia Murad, in a photograph for her book, The Last Girl.

Nadia Murad, in a photograph for her book, The Last Girl.

It’s the same thing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., did with the prize money he got from the Nobel Committee for winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

But when King did it, it was about $50,000.

Bloomberg news noted: “Nadia Murad, co-winner of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, says she will commit 100% of her share of the $1.01 million prize money to continue the work of ending sexual violence in war zones.”

In the press release announcing the prize for peace, on October 5, the Nobel Committee said:

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018 to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict. Both laureates have made a crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, such war crimes. Denis Mukwege is the helper who has devoted his life to defending these victims. Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others. Each of them in their own way has helped to give greater visibility to war-time sexual violence, so that the perpetrators can be held accountable for their actions.

*     *     *     *     *

Nadia Murad is herself a victim of war crimes. She refused to accept the social codes that require women to remain silent and ashamed of the abuses to which they have been subjected. She has shown uncommon courage in recounting her own sufferings and speaking up on behalf of other victims.

Nadia Murad is a member of the Yazidi minority in northern Iraq, where she lived with her family in the remote village of Kocho. In August 2014 the Islamic State (IS) launched a brutal, systematic attack on the villages of the Sinjar district, aimed at exterminating the Yazidi population. In Nadia Murad’s village, several hundred people were massacred. The younger women, including underage children, were abducted and held as sex slaves. While a captive of the IS, Nadia Murad was repeatedly subjected to rape and other abuses. Her assaulters threatened to execute her if she did not convert to their hateful, inhuman version of Islam.

Nadia Murad is just one of an estimated 3 000 Yazidi girls and women who were victims of rape and other abuses by the IS army. The abuses were systematic, and part of a military strategy. Thus they served as a weapon in the fight against Yazidis and other religious minorities.

After a three-month nightmare Nadia Murad managed to flee. Following her escape, she chose to speak openly about what she had suffered. In 2016, at the age of just 23, she was named the UN’s first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.

Below, a Twitter Moment prepared by Bloomberg News on Ms. Murad’s plans to dedicate her prize money to fighting sexual violence.

 

 

Advertisements

Peace Nobel: Al Gore and IPCC

October 12, 2007

2007’s Nobel Prize for Peace sailed out to Al Gore and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”

Observations:

First, this is a big win for science. The IPCC has been victim of political knee-capping as virulent as any we’ve seen in the last 25 years. Science wins out with the Nobel.

Second, if, in October 2000, we had been able to see a headline, “Al Gore wins Nobel Peace Prize,” what would we have thought that meant about the results of the 2000 election? It’s an indictment of the inaction of the Bush regime that in 6 years Al Gore has done enough to win a Nobel for his efforts, while the Bush administration has not.

Third, while Gore is U.S. citizen, he’s a graduate of St. Alban’s School in Washington, D.C., a good private school. I’m 0-4 on public school grads winning Nobels this year. So much for my predictions. Of course, P. Z. Myers argues Nobels are at best a lagging indicator (how’s that for zipping in an economic term, social studies teachers?). But he’s talking about science, not education in general. P. Z. says the real disaster for U.S. awards is ahead, when our failure to support science in research and graduate study starts to “pay off.”

Al Gore is a good guy, in my experience. He’s knowledgeable about a lot of things, he has foresight (we’d not have this internet but for Gore’s work to save it in its infancy), and he’s a mensch. Ah, for the things that could have been.

Sources:

Read the rest of this entry »


%d bloggers like this: