Harrowing story of man’s inhumanity to man | Sunday Observer
Book Review:

Harrowing story of man’s inhumanity to man

24 November, 2019

‘Ginigath Sanda’
Translator: Rohana Wettasinghe
Sarasavi Publishers, Nugegoda
Pages: 441
Price: Rs 850

When I sat down in my easy chair with Ginigath Sanda I thought that I could enjoy a well-knit fiction. Instead, I had to read a harrowing story of man’s inhumanity to man. Despite vast strides in civilization, innocent children, men and women are still being subject to acts of cruelty not by wild animals but brutal and brainwashed terrorists.

Rohana Wettasinghe’s Ginigath Sanda is the authentic Sinhala translation of Nadia Murad’s true story titled ‘The Last Girl: My story of captivity and my fight against the Islamic State.’

The translation is praiseworthy because you can read it as if you are reading a novel. The author Nadia Murad, winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize, was barely 21 when the ISIS surrounded her village in Kocho in Northern Iraq. She belonged to Yazidis, a Kurdish religious minority.

The Yazidis were traditional farmers who settled in the outskirts of cities. Nadia lived outside Mosul which was captured by ISIS militants in 2014.

The Islamic terrorists killed her mother, six brothers and almost all the men and elderly women.

The victims could not resist as they were unarmed civilians. Nadia’s story lays bare the horrific sequence of events that led to her capture, rape, escape and her life thereafter.

After torturing and raping her repeatedly, the terrorists forced her to satisfy the sadistic and monstrous pleasures of militants. However, as fate had decreed, she flees to Kurdistan with the help of Nasser, a Sunni Muslim. By helping her he takes a big risk in exposing his family members to terrorist attacks.

Nadia’s happiness was short lived as Kurdistan officials forced her and Nasser to testify against the terrorists.

Their statements were recorded and videoed despite the duo’s objections.

As their statements could be used as a political tool, they were recorded and leaked to the press. Ginigath Sanda is in fact not just the story of one woman who suffered being a sex slave and monumental tragedy at the hands of ISIS, but it is a testimony of the ancient Yazidi community and their unceasing predicament that are conveniently ignored by the international community. Nadia’s story does not end with her escape to Kurdistan.

She knows that millions of others are still suffering at the hands of ISIS terrorists.

The unflinching portrayal of her story is a weapon used against terrorism. She is not just a survivor but a champion of human rights. She showed her courage that no one else could even think of.

Iraq has always been at war with the United States and terrorist groups. In 2014 the terrorists provided shelter for Yazidis in certain parts of Iraq. The military forces known as Peshmerga abandoned the Yazidis after promising to protect them and Kocho. The gory details of Nadia and her community are given clearly in the book.

Ginigath Sanda proves that truth is stranger than fiction.

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