Voices from the Field, Part 2

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Date(s) - Wednesday, February 15, 2017
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Room 2M74, University of Winnipeg

Voices from the Field

Part 2

With Nafia Naso: The Genocide of Yazidis in Broad Daylight


Maddie Pearlman: Researching Refugee Children’s Rights: From the Global to Local


Noelle Sagher: Women’s Rights are Human Rights

We had three powerful female speakers shared their experiences concerning women’s rights.

Noelle Sagher is a 4th year Human Rights student at the University of Winnipeg’s Global College who is passionate about women’s rights both on a local level and on an international level. Coming from a Middle Eastern background, she hopes to eventually work with refugee women and children. She has had several visits at both UN headquarters in New York City and Geneva, Switzerland and today will be speaking about her internship with International Women’s Rights Action Watch – Asia Pacific in collaboration with the United Nation’s CEDAW Committee..  Noelle spoke about her internship and some of the issues women faced in the 11 countries that presented to IWRAC.  A report on the meetings and action governments are to take can be found at www.ohchr.org

Maddie Pearlman is currently in her second year of law school at Robson Hall. She holds a Masters degree in Refugees and Forced Migration Studies from the University of Oxford. For more than two years, Maddie worked as a youth Program Support worker at IRCOM, the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization planning and running child and youth programming and working with newcomer families.  Since high school, Maddie has been actively involved in the Jewish community and various student groups. Maddie is passionate about refugee law, children’s rights and newcomer literacy. Most recently, Maddie organized Robson Hall Students as part of the nation-wide research-a-thon on the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement. Maddie spoke about her work with children and Women at IRCOM and the issues around children’s rights and responsibilities.

Nafiya Naso is a representative of the Yazidi community and Operation Ezra. “I was two years old when my family fled our home in Khanasur, near Sinjar, in northern Iraq. My father and other family members were forcibly conscripted into the Iraqi military, but because of their religion, they were treated like the enemy. Considered to be “disposable,” they were sent to the front lines. After eight months of this and having suffered two gunshot wounds, my father managed to escape and we fled to Syria. At that point, my mother was faced with one of the toughest decisions of her life: eight months pregnant, she was unable to leave quickly on foot with both me and my older brother. One of us would need to be left behind. At the last moment, she spotted a donkey near our home. My brother and I rode the donkey with my mother walking alongside. We faced unbearable desert heat throughout the nine-day journey from our home in Iraq to the Syrian refugee camp. Many days we went without food, and at night we went to sleep with the sounds of bombs nearby. We faced constant threats throughout the journey because of intolerance and hatred toward the Yazidi. 

At the refugee camp in Syria, where my family and I lived in a small tent with only basic essentials, my parents registered with the UNHCR [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] to seek asylum. In 1998, after waiting eight years, we were notified that Canada had accepted our application. Pembina Fellowship, a Mennonite church in Morden, Man., raised funds to sponsor our immigration. In March 1999, at the age of 10, I arrived in Morden with my family, where we were warmly welcomed into the community and provided with everything we needed. There are about 450 to 500 Yazidis in Canada.”

Nafiya spoke about the terrible plight of the Yazidis in Iraq, their persecution, rape and murder.  She showed a  video https://ca.video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=murder+of+yazedi+in+broad+daylight#id=2&vid=d59035912e2c76bc27e5be9f48accd72&action=click

Winnipeg has taken in many families and is the only place in North America where this is happening.  To learn more  about operation Ezra https://www.jewishwinnipeg.org/community-relations/operation-ezra


Nafiya, Noelle, Maddie


To download the poster, click here