Taking on ISIS, Fighting for Women’s Rights with Sohrab Ahmari

Sohrab Ahmari, Editorial Writer for The Wall Street Journal, addresses the 8th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy

Full Remarks

Well ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for being here, for staying with us. I’m Sohrab Ahmari, I’m an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal and I have the honor of moderating our next panel, with the two laureates, but I just wondered if you could join me in giving him one more round of applause.

I had watched that video several times and I must say it never stops moving me, to my core, to see that video, and I had the privilege of traveling with Dr. Kizilhan when he was running his last trip to Iraq to evaluate women, and we will go into their project, but just to provide a bit of context for this discussion, as other previous speakers, including Ambassador Moses and others had alluded to, the 20th century was a century that was, in many ways, marked by mass murder and by genocide, and unfortunately, it looks like the 21st century is also shaping up to be such a century.

I mean, the most notable case, obviously, is what’s happening in Syria, where the Assad regime and its backers in Moscow and Tehran have murdered some 250,000 people by the low estimates [and] displaced millions. And this is happening at a time when there are people with the highest circles of power in the West, who’ve made careers on the idea of ‘never again’ – that’s also a founding ideal of the United Nations, where we’re so close to it, but no case has been as difficult and as heart-tugging as the case of the Yazidis, because they’re a small and voiceless minority and their plight is what we’ll be discussing now.

So, I’ll join my colleagues on the couches and invite each of them to comment on their experience so we can learn more about what happened since you saw that video.

So, thank you all again and I appreciate it.

Speakers and Participants


Yazidi Genocide

Geneva Summit 2016 Women’s Rights Award with Jan Ilhan Kizilhan

Professor Dr. Dr. Jan Ilhan Kizilhan, German psychologist who has helped to repair the shattered and broken lives of countless Yezidi women who have suffered at the hands of ISIS, addresses the 8th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On

Women's Rights

Escaping the Taliban with Nila Ibrahimi

15-year-old Hazara activist who narrowly escaped the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, Nila Ibrahimi, addresses the 15th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for her remarks. Full Remarks   Good morning everyone. I’m incredibly honored to be here today with you at the Geneva Summit. Thank you so much for giving me the

Women's Rights

Trailblazer: Jailed for Showing her Hair with Shaparak Shajarizadeh

Shaparak Shajarizadeh, who became a leader in the “Girls of Revolution Street” and White Wednesday civil disobedience movements in Iran and who was famously arrested in February 2018 for removing her headscarf in defiance of Iran’s compulsory hijab laws, receives the Women’s Rights Award and addresses the 12th Annual Geneva

Women's Rights

2021 International Women’s Rights Award with Gulalai Ismail

Gulalai Ismail, prominent Pakistani women’s rights activist and former political prisoner who escaped the country receives the 2021 International Women’s Rights Award and addresses the 13th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On growing up in Pakistan: “I grew