US President Donald Trump Asks Nobel Peace Laureate For What Reason She Got The Prize

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New Delhi: US President Donald Trump found it “incredible” that the slight woman in a black dress standing over his shoulder in the Oval Office was a Nobel winner.

“And you had the Nobel Prize,” he asked Nadia Murad, turning to face her fully. And when she replied in the affirmative, the president said, “That’s incredible. They gave it to you for what reason?” He asked her to explain.

“For what reason?” asked Murad. And she did explain.

Murad is a Yazidi human rights activists who lives in exile in Germany. At the age of 14, she was captured by Islamic State fighters in a raid on her village in Sinjar, Iraq. She was kept in slavery for months, along with many Yazidi women. She was beaten and raped repeatedly till she escaped.

Murad began speaking about her plight in 2015 and that of the Yazidis, an ethnic Kurdish minority community living mostly in Iraq. Thousands of Yazidis fled when Sinjar fell and 5,000 of them were murdered and 5,000 to 7,000 (mostly women and children) had been abducted by the IS. Murad went on to brief the UN Security council in December.

Murad won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018, jointly with Denis Mukwege, a Congolese doctor and pastor. But here is how she explained it to Trump, speaking haltingly in English: “For what reason? For that -- after all this happen to me, I can -- I make it clear to everyone that ISIS raped thousands of Yazidi women. This one was first time the woman from Iraq, she (came) out and spoke about it happen.”

The US president has often spoken about him being in line for a Nobel Peace himself, specially in the run-up to his first summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. There were hopes then, in some quarters at least, of a breakthrough leading to denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and normalization of relations ending the Korean war that has remained suspended under a 66-year-old armistice agreement.

Trump has not spoken of the Nobel in a while as talks have remained largely inconsequential despite three meetings with Kim.

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