Murad was born in the village of Kocho in Sinjar District, Iraq, populated mostly by Yazidi people. Her family, of the Yazidi minority, were farmers. Murad is the founder of Nadia’s Initiative, an organization dedicated to “helping women and children victimized by genocides, mass atrocities, and human trafficking to heal and rebuild their lives and communities”. In 2016, Murad was appointed as the first-ever Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
“In the blink of an eye, we can all make a difference.”
“If tolerance, respect and equity permeate family life, they will translate into values that shape societies, nations and the world.”
Her Majesty Queen Noor al-Hussein was born Lisa Najeeb Halaby into a prominent Arab-American family in Washington, D.C. Her father served as head of the Federal Aviation Administration under President Kennedy. A graduate of Princeton University’s School of Architecture, she met Jordan’s King Hussein while working on a redesign of facilities for Jordan’s national airline.
In 1978, they married and she became the first American-born queen of an Arab country. She has since sensitively balanced Arab and Western cultures in her work for development, education, women’s rights, and the land mine ban with her Noor Al Hussein Foundation (NHF). King Hussein died of cancer in 1999.
Noor Al Hussein Foundation, www.nhf.org.jo
After losing her mother and brother to Guatemalan death squads in the late 1970s and her father to a fire, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, a Quichè Mayan Indian, followed in her father’s footsteps in protesting human rights abuses against Guatemala’s indigenous peasants by the country’s repressive military government. In 1981, Menchú fled to Mexico and joined the international fight to stop the brutal repression of Guatemalan Indian peasants. A leading proponent of indigenous people’s rights everywhere, Menchú Tum is the author of I Rigoberta Menchú and the recipient of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize for her work toward reconciliation.