Title: The Girl Who Beat ISIS: My Story
Author: Farida Khalaf
Translator: Andrea C. Hoffman
Page Numbers: 224
Publisher: Square Peg, Vintage Publishing
Publishing Date: July 6, 2016
I truly believe that situations never occur by accident…The other day I caught a re-run of the TV series, Bones and this particular episode, Brennan and Booth were solving the murder of a former Sierra Leone child soldier who illegally immigrated to the US. During the break, I quickly scrolled through my blog feed, I saw Linda of Book Fusion’s review of A Long Way Gone which also talked about a child soldier also from Sierra Leone. I guess these storylines triggered my mind to read Farida’s story that I had been putting off for while..
The Girl Who Beat ISIS details the dramatic shift in Farida’s life story when her village in Northern Iraq is taken over by ISIS jihadists. She grapples with her new reality of losing her family, being captured and traded in a slave market, clinging to her Yazidi faith and struggle to escape.
Readers of this short but powerful book will be moved by Farida’s courage to maintain her honour and sanity in these difficult circumstances that no one would wish on their worst enemies. Her story makes you wonder what you would do in difficult situations especially when MacGyver-ing /Makmende-ing does not happen to be one of your strong suits. Going through it, I found myself pondering about the limits religious tolerance and extremism in my own worldview. It is quite humbling to know that at this exact moment, someone is another part of this continent and world is suffering because of the other people’s megalomania.
Reading this book will give one a glimpse into life under ISIS to pick this book up and hopefully make him or her more sympathetic to the refugee crisis and hopefully motivate them to action.
Note: I am grateful to the publishers for availing this copy via Netgalley in exchange for a free review. The book cover image is also from Netgalley