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).
Since gaining international recognition for her diaries of life in wartime Bosnia, Nadja Halilbegovich has spoken to and performed choral concerts for audiences throughout North America and Europe. As a thirteen-year-old, she was nearly killed when, upon leaving her house to play for the first time in six months, a bomb exploded seven feet from her. During the war, she hosted “Music Box,” a program on the National Radio Station of Bosnia, and performed in internationally broadcast solo and choir performances. Her diaries have been published in Bosnia and Turkey. She now lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Spielberg has since devoted all his earnings from the film to the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, which has documented more than 100,000 hours of Holocaust survivors’ testimonies, and the Righteous Persons Foundation, which grants money to various projects affecting modern Jewish life. Spielberg’s award-winning 1998 film Saving Private Ryan broke ground in its harrowing portrayal of World War II combat.
Dith Pran’s wartime story of covering Cambodia’s takeover by the communist Khmer Rouge with reporter Sidney Schanberg was told in the award-winning film The Killing Fields. Dith endured four years of starvation and torture in the Khmer Rouge’s forced labor camps before escaping to Thailand in 1979. Schanberg represented Dith in accepting a 1976 Pulitzer Prize for their coverage. A photojournalist for the New York Times since 1980, Dith now runs the Dith Pran Holocaust Awareness Project. He lost more than fifty relatives to the Khmer Rouge, including his father, three brothers, one sister, and their families. Pran fell ill with pancreatic cancer and died on March 30th, 2008.
When Elie Wiesel was sixteen his entire family was taken from their home in Sighet, Romania, to the Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Wiesel and his two older sisters were the family’s only survivors. Having devoted his life to teaching about the Holocaust, Wiesel has written for newspapers in France, Israel, and the United States. He is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities at Boston University and the author of more than forty books. He has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States Congressional Gold Medal, the French Legion of Honor, and the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize.