Reader's Digest International - - My Life -

IN THE SUM­MER of 2014, ISIS sol­diers in north­ern Iraq mas­sa­cred thou­sands of men from the mi­nor­ity Yazidi com­mu­nity, and took thou­sands more Yazidi women and chil­dren as sex slaves.

Dr. Mirza Din­nayi, a Yazidi him­self, who had moved to Ger­many in 1994 to es­cape per­se­cu­tion, em­barked on a per­ilous mis­sion to help hun­dreds of them to es­cape. He found an ally in the state of Baden-Würt­tem­berg which promised them a home, as well as care and ther­apy af­ter their ar­rival.

Din­nayi (pic­tured left with sur­vivor Lamia Haji Bashar) re­turned to Iraq, risk­ing the threat of phys­i­cal vi­o­lence, to track down, vet and ar­range trans­port for sur­vivors. Worst of all, how­ever, was hear­ing their tales of rape and tor­ture: “When I re­mem­ber their sto­ries, I think, ‘How could such things hap­pen in the 21st cen­tury?’”

Thanks to Din­nayi’s ini­tia­tive, 1,100 Yazidis have now be­gun new lives in Ger­many.

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