> Skip to content
  • Published: 18 September 2017
  • ISBN: 9781784702755
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $22.99

The Girl Who Escaped ISIS

Farida's Story




The astonishing true story of a heroic young woman's capture and eventual escape from ISIS

Our world as it once was

In August 2014, Farida was, like any ordinary teenager, enjoying the last days of summer before her final year at school. However, her peaceful mountain village in northern Iraq was an ISIS target as their genocide against the Yazidi people began.

The catastrophe

ISIS murdered the men and boys in the village, including Farida's father and brother, and took the women hostage. Farida was one of them. She was held in a slave camp, in the homes of ISIS members and finally in a desert training camp. Continually she struggled, resisted and fought against her captors, showing unimaginable strength and bravery.

This is my story

Eventually, Farida managed to plot her escape and fled into the desert with five young girls in her care, but defeating ISIS was just the first step in her journey. In this book she tells her remarkable and inspiring story.

  • Published: 18 September 2017
  • ISBN: 9781784702755
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $22.99

About the authors

Farida Khalaf

Farida and her brothers were brought up in the Yazidi community in Kocho, Iraq. She was 19 years old when ISIS attacked her village, killed the men, captured the women and sold them into slavery. After four months, Farida managed to escape against all odds. She was reunited with her mother and her brothers in an Iraqi refugee camp and was granted asylum in Germany in 2015.

Andrea C. Hoffmann

Andrea C. Hoffmann is a Middle East expert, a writer for Focus magazine in Germany, and author of numerous books. Her specialisation is the situation of women in Muslim countries.

Praise for The Girl Who Escaped ISIS

Shattering, brave, angering account

The Bookseller

A harrowing, unforgettable tale.

Simon Shaw, Mail on Sunday

Truly a triumph of the human spirit over terror

Irish Times

‘How much can a single person endure? Traumatised, uprooted, abused – Farida continues to deal with the consequences of ISIS. Nevertheless, this memoir is full of hope. She is a very strong individual, she has the heart of a lioness. An amazing story that encourages us never to keep quiet or to give in’

Frank Heinrich, German Parliamentary Speaker on Human Rights

‘Farida tells her story courageously and bravely as she describes how she resisted attempts to convert, marry and rape her, for so long in some cases that the ISIS henchmen actually left her alone’

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Farida's story needs to be told

The Times

This is one of those rare volumes that offers astonishing insights into the human spirit

Observer

‘Farida shows the good and bad sides of religion… She criticises aspects of her own upbringing like certain religious taboos – such nuance is impressive’

HEUTE.de

‘Her story highlights atrocities, but it is also a moving account of how friendship, love and the will to survive are mightier than any barbarism’

Anzeiger

A compelling testament to the suffering of ordinary people caught up in violence far beyond their control

Guardian

Mesmerising

Sunday Times

A stunning, heart wrenching narrative... Everyone should read this in order to get to the heart of the tragedy of the Arab world and the distortion of Islam being perpetrated by ISIS. Beautifully written in the voice of a teenage girl, this book gives more of an understanding of what is happening than political treatises.

Ahmed Rashid

This powerful testimoney is ... as gripping as it is appalling

Guardian

A compelling testament to the suffering of ordinary people caught up in violence far beyond their control – and to the particularly terrible price it exacts from women.

Rachel Aspden, Guardian

Starkly horrifying memoir.

Andrew Lynch, Sunday Business Post

Farida Khalaf won her small but significant battle. Its happy ending notwithstanding, it's difficult to focus on positivity – but then, perhaps that's why this remains a vital read.

Hot Press

A gut-wrenching and relentless experience...Farida's story needs to be told.

Catherine Philip, The Times

A powerful description of a world ripped apart... Farida tells a story that is testament to how toxic violence can be born of religion.

New Statesman

This is a mesmerising study of human cruelty and a brave depiction of the monsters that arise when reason sleeps.

Oliver Thring, Sunday Times

It’s a shattering, brave, enraging book but also a stirring story of survival.

Sunday Express

An unflinching account… This is one of those rare volumes that offers astonishing insights into the human spirit… A catalogue of horror is made bearable only by her extraordinary courage.

Joan Smith, Observer

Although a harrowing story it is also an uplifting one as it is truly a triumph of the human spirit over terror.

Frank McGabhann, Irish Times

This is a brave, harrowing but necessary book.

Colette Sheridan, Irish Examiner

Farida's story needs to be told

The Times

Truly a triumph of the human spirit over terror

Irish Times

This is one of those rare volumes that offers astonishing insights into the human spirit

Observer

A compelling testament to the suffering of ordinary people caught up in violence far beyond their control

Guardian

Mesmerising

Sunday Times

Timely, excruciating and important.

Bookseller

Related titles