A Life Dedicated to Humankind 

NovoReads Group is presenting the memoir of Dr. Widad Akreyi, the winner of the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award.

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Through an inspiring memoir, Dr. Widad Akreyi takes the reader on a fascinating journey from her childhood in Kurdistan Region, Iraq, where she refused to join Saddam Hussein’s Party at the age of seven, to her relocation to Europe and finally her rise onto the world stage as award-winning humanitarian and champion for human rights.

Born in the mountains of Kurdland, Widad was seven years old when she stood up against the mounting atrocities of the Iraqi Baath Party and defended her rights and those of her classmates, which well-nigh cost her her life.

Her reluctance to bow to pressure placed her on the blacklist of unwanted Kurds who later were to be slaughtered in a genocide called Anfal that took place in the late 1980s. She disobeyed authority, volunteered and documented the Anfal Genocide.

Her quest for peace, freedom and knowledge transformed her, making her a human rights champion and politician, taking her to a new continent, where she survived a cardiac arrest at the age of 26. Despite incredible hardships she earned a Master’s degree in genetics and a PhD in global health and epidemiology and has been awarded several prestigious awards.

Book Trailers in English

Book Trailer in Kurdish


The Kurdish activist who became a global icon

A powerful portrayal of a little school girl who defies Saddam Hussein’s regime, survives Anfal Genocide and goes on to become an award-winning champion for human rights.

By combining crisp prose with utterly enthralling storytelling, Widad pulls back the curtain to reveal in vivid detail and with unflinching honesty the experiences that have shaped her — from her childhood in Kurdistan region where she was doomed to persecution, to her years as a university student undertaking the grueling task of chronicling crimes against humanity when she was just 17 years old, to her phenomenal resilience in exile. The Daughter of Kurdland takes the reader on an intimate journey to uncover deep truths that are valid in any age but especially so in our present context. Sparkling with wit and wisdom, this book poses universal questions: Should we always do what others tell us to do? How important is it to defy norms? How much of ourselves should we be willing to compromise for the sake of others? And how much should we be prepared to pay?

A profile in courage, Widad is today an international icon for peace and women empowerment, and is the youngest winner of the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award, ranked among world-renowned figures like John F. Kennedy, Mother Teresa, Desmond Tutu and Dalai Lama. A testament to the power of human endurance, The Daughter of Kurdland will inspire and surprise men and women alike.

About The Author

A multiple award-winner, Dr. Widad Akreyi is renowned humanitarian and champion for human rights and has become a global voice for the voiceless, first and foremost the women and girls abducted, sold and enslaved in the Middle East.

Born in Kurdland, Widad lives now in the West and holds a Master’s degree in genetics and a PhD in global health and cancer epidemiology. She has been awarded the Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth) Peace and Freedom Award for her lifelong commitment to peace, justice and dignity for all, the 2018 International Woman Harmony Award (Human Rights Award) for devoting her life to defending human rights, the Davenport Mayor Medal for her lifetime contribution to defending human rights, the International Pfeffer Peace Award for her worldwide efforts in support of peace and justice, and the 2013 Special Prize for bridging the gap between cultures.