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The Girl Who Beat ISIS

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“At school they called me ‘calculator’. My maths teacher gave this nickname to me because I was the cleverest in the class at this subject. Whenever Mr Siamand set us a problem and none of my classmates could solve it, he would finally turn to me. ‘So, Farida, what do you think? he asked. ‘Would you show the others how to do it?’

‘Of course,’ I replied, striding confidently towards the blackboard. With a stick of chalk I wrote up the individual stages in solving the problem, while explaining long-windedly how to get from one stage to the next. Behind me I could hear my classmates grumbling. They were annoyed that I was better at maths than them, especially the boys.”

An excerpt from The Girl Who Beat ISIS: My Story co-authored by Farida Khalaf and Andrea C. Hoffmann,

published by Square Peg, 2016, p. 13.

Farida Khalaf was an ordinary Yazidi teenage girl from Kocho, a village of 1,700 inhabitants situated on the plain to the south of Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. In August 2014, her village became an ISIS target. ISIS jihadists murdered the men and boys, including Farida’s father and brother, before taking her and the other women prisoner. She struggled, she bit, she kicked, she accused her captors of going against their religion, until, one day, the door to her room was left unlocked. She took a chance, and with five younger girls in her charge, fled into the Syrian Desert.

Winner of English PEN Award, The Girl Who Beat ISIS is Farida Khalaf’s true story which she told her co-author, German Middle East expert and journalist Andrea C. Hoffmann. For this exclusive talk on Thursday 25th May, we invite Andrea C. Hoffmann and Diana Darke, Middle East cultural expert and author of My House in Damascus: An Inside View of the Syrian Crisis to discuss The Girl Who Beat ISIS and reflect on the current global political climate.

The talk will be followed by a book signing and drinks reception.

To book tickets for this event, please click here.

General: £10, Concessions: £8, Asia House Arts Members: £5

Asia House Arts Members need to enter their unique membership number when booking online. This can be found on the back of your membership card. Please call 0207 307 5454 if you experience any issues booking tickets.


May 25, 2017
18:45 - 20:00
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Asia House
63 New Cavendish St W1G 7LP United Kingdom
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