Today is Nazo's wedding. Today she will set herself on fire.
Nazo Heydo has drenched herself in kerosene and is ready to light the match in order avoid marrying the Syrian elder who bought her from Islamic State officials. Her forced marriage is just the latest horror in a journey that began when ISIS fighters surrounded her peaceful village, demanding spoils and the Yazidis' conversion to Islam. Rebuffed, they took away her father, brothers, and the love of her life in their pickup trucks with the other village men. The women and children they enslaved and separated, transporting the younger women to be trafficked as sex slaves or sold. Only Nazo's wits and daring have saved her from further abuse or death, yet each escape leads to some other horror. Meanwhile, in a parallel narrative, Soz, another young Yazidi, flees her family's farm when she sees the black-flagged pickups approach. She manages to reach Mount Sinjar, where she joins the Yazidi fighters who have allied with the Kurdish Peshmerga. Her journey will lead back to her homeland to do battle against the black flag of ISIS.
AuthorBy Gharbi M. Mustafa
Published5 June 2018
Dimensions5.50 x 8.25in.
About the author
Gharbi M. Mustafa is a native of Kurdistan and a professor of English at the University of Dohuk. He has personally interviewed Yazidi women who have escaped ISIS, and his novel is based on details of their ordeals as well as his familiarity with Yazidi culture and lore. He is also the author of the self-published, English-language novel When Mountains Weep, based on his own experience growing up in Iraqi Kurdistan under the regime of Saddam Hussein. He lives in Dohuk.