Survivors Empowerment is one of Yazda’s first programs which initially supported Nadia Murad, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and UN Goodwill Ambassador, as part of a global campaign to bring awareness to the Plight of Yazidis and other religious minorities persecuted by ISIS. Yazda has since supported other survivors in their campaigns.

Farida Abbas Khalaf


Farida Abbas Khalaf is one of more than 6500 Yazidi survivors of ISIS enslavement and genocide. She was born in Kocho,-Sinjar, Northern Iraq. She was a high school student when ISIS attacked her village, killing men and taking women and children hostages.

Farida lost her father and her older brother. She was taken then into captivity with her mother and her other brother. Her mother escaped after 9 months in captivity. Farida was held in captivity for four months where was subjected to unimaginable suffering including physical and mental abuse.

Since her escape, Farida has been an effective part of Yazda global advocacy campaign to bring ISIS militants to justice, raise awareness and bring international attention to the Genocide.  So far, Farida has spoken in UK, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Lebanon, and Belgium. Farida published her book, The Girls Who Beat ISISwhich has been published in more than 14 countries.

Farida is the winner of Polish Foreign Minister’s Pro Dignitate Humana Prize 2017, the 2017 Marsh Award for peacemaking and peacekeeping by Wilton Park, an executive agency of Foreign and Commonwealth Office-UK government. Farida has also received the LiberPress Award for 2017

Farida has a documentary film, With Words Against the IS – A Yazidi Raises the Voice.

Farida has also spoken with numerous international media outlet including BBC, SWR, CBC, and others. Below are some of Farida`s speeches:

  1. Fareeda Abbas Khalaf testimony in Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe

  2. Fareeda Khalaf Speech in Estoril Conferences - Portugal

  3. Fareeda Abbas`s Speech at Wilton Park/UK

  4. Farida Abbas received the LiberPress Catalunya Award 2017

Shireen Jirdo Ibrahim


Shireen is a 30 year old Yazidi female survivor of ISIS. Shireen is originally from Ramboosy, a village on the south side of Sinjar. On August 3, 2014 when ISIS overran her town Shireen was captured along with her family as they were trying to fled to Mount Sinjar. Shireen was separated from her family after two months as ISIS militants were relocating her from one place to another. Shireen was held captive for nine months. She was tortured and electrocuted and sexually abused. Shireen did not eat or drink for three months as she was starving herself in hopes she would die to end her misery. After nine months she was released along with a group of ill and elderly men and women who were useless to ISIS. Shireen is still missing about 20 members of her immediate and extended family members.

Samia Suliman Kamal


Samia is a 17 years old Yazidi survivor of ISIS enslavement. She was kidnapped with her family by ISIS on August 2014.  Samia has faced all physical, sexual and psychological crimes under the hands of ISIS terrorists. Samia has lost her father, grandfather and dozens of her relatives are still in ISIS captivity.  Samia came to Germany by a rehabilitation program by Germany government for ISIS survivors. To hear Samia's story, please click here.

Survivors Initiative is part of Yazda's Women Central Committee


  • Laila Khudeida – Chairwoman

  • Dalal Abdi – Vice Chair- Canada Coordinator

  • Rozin Khaleel – Advisor and the UK Coordinator

  • Delkhaws Haciy – Sweden Coordinator

  • Aleen Abo- Sweden Coordinator

  • Ferial Pir Ali – US Coordinator

  • Asinja Badeel – Committee Advisor

  • Salima Mirza – Committee Advisor

  • Warda Hussien – Australia Coordinator


Contact the committee at or

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Contact Us:

United States 

Yazidi Cultural Center

300 N 27th St Suite C

Lincoln, NE 68503

United States​



Z12/36/3 KRO-Hano Street, 27st, Duhok, KRI, Iraq


Flat 3, First Floor, Buidlin number 3, Salahia Complex, Baghdad-Iraq

Houston Office

P.O.Box. 771448 

Houston, TX 77215

USA and Canada: +1 (832) 298-9584


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