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Nobel Peace Prize Winner Nadia Murad Delivered Hanway Lecture in Global Studies

Last Wednesday, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, activist, and writer Nadia Murad came to Loyola University Maryland to give the Hanway Lecture in Global Studies. The Hanway lecture is a yearly lecture that connects Loyola with global leaders through sharing relevant and moving stories. 

With the recent upsurge in violence against women worldwide in the wake of the pandemic, the recent re-emergence of the Taliban, and on a more personal level, Loyola is celebrating 50 years of women on the Evergreen Campus; Murad was a timely, relevant, and emotional. Murad is a survivor of wartime sexual violence, the Yazidi genocide in Iraq, and kidnap of the Islamic state. She recently released a book called “The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State,which is New York Times Bestselling. The memoir details her story of strength, pain, and trauma, as well as her activism and life post-war. Murad is also the founder of the non-profit Nadia’s Initiative, which works to implement “community-driven and survivor-centric sustainable development programs” in education, culture, justice, food, and water. 

In her lecture, she detailed her experience and how the global community can aid in issues of violence against women. She also touched on topics such as mental health and the refuge crisis. After her lecture, Murad and her husband participated in an audience q and where she spoke about the Yazidi community, activism, and healing after the war. She spoke specifically about a survivor-first approach and how peacebuilding must include survivors. 

What Murad went through was undeniably traumatizing, and it is an incredible act of courage to continue to speak about her experience. Her lecture was deeply insightful. Many came out of the lecture feeling heavy-hearted and overwhelmed. It feels heartbreaking to hear stories such as Nadia Murad’s and know that what she experienced is still happening. Still, sometimes those solutions feel so big and out of our control. However, each individual has a story to share, and stories build up and ultimately create change. For students, Murad’s story moved them profoundly and caused a push for change. Maeve Hill, Class of 2025, commented that “Nadia Murad has a clear understanding of the issues she is facing, both their enormity and the necessity of solving them. She was truly inspiring to hear.” 

To learn more about The Hanway Lecture, please visit https://www.loyola.edu/join-us/hanway-lecture. 

To learn more about her story and get involved in Nadia Murad’s causes, please visit https://www.nadiasinitiative.org/our-approach and check out her book The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State, sold everywhere, available as an ebook and audiobook, and translated into 40 languages. 

Thank you, Nadia Murad, for visiting Loyola and moving all of us with your story of courage, activism, and peace.

Elena Johnston is the Co-Campus Correspondent and Editor In Chief of Her Campus LUM. She is a Sophomore and a Global studies and Communications double major with a concentration in Public Relations/Advertising. Elena is currently the Albrecht Fellow Intern for public affairs and programming at the World Trade Center Insitute. She previously interned this summer with the Frederick Maryland Chamber of Commerce for Communications and was also chosen as a University Innovation Fellow, an international fellowship for leadership and development. Outside of academics, Elena is involved with theater on campus and is passionate about photography, writing, design, and activism.
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