WASHINGTON - Nadia Murad, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient and refugee of the Yazidi region of Iraq, this week personally asked President Donald Trump to step in to help her community -- in an appeal that was emotional, almost desperate at moments.
But Trump seemed aloof throughout the exchange, which quickly went viral.
During a visit to the Oval Office, Murad recounted how although ISIS is gone, the Kurdish and Iraqi governments are fighting for control of the region indigenous to the Yazidi people. She called on Trump to intervene between the two governments.
Murad, who is in her mid-20s, survived sex slavery and torture from ISIS. She went on to be an advocate to end sexual violence in war and armed conflicts, which is how she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The young woman, who was standing behind Trump for the meeting, was one of 27 survivors of religious persecution that visited with Trump on Wednesday.
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"Today you can solve our problem. Now there is no ISIS but we cannot go back because Kurdish government and the Iraqi government, they are fighting each other (over) who will control my area," Murad explained. "And we cannot go back if we cannot protect our dignity, our families."
"But ISIS is gone," Trump replied. Then the president clarified that he now understands it's the Kurdish and Iraqi governments that are the issue.
She also explained how she and 95,000 other Yazidis became refugees due to the area still being in turmoil despite ISIS being gone.
"They emigrated to Germany through a very dangerous way. Not because we want to be a refugees, but we cannot find a safe place to live," she said. Her comments come as Trump is trying to limit the number of migrants coming to the United States, mostly from Central America. Many migrants from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras are fleeing economic poverty and gang violence.
Murad also explained how the terrorist group also killed her mother and six brothers.
"All this happened to me. They killed my mom, my six brothers. They left behind them," Murad said.
"Where are they now?" Trump asked.
"They killed them," Murad quickly replied. "They are in the mass grave in Sinjar, and I'm still fighting just to live in safe. Please do something."
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"I know the area very well," Trump replied. "I'm going to look into it very strongly."
Trump also noted that Murad received a Nobel Prize, but asked her to explain why she had been given the prestigious international award.
"For, after all this happened to me, I didn't give up," she said. "I made it clear to everyone that ISIS raped thousands of Yazidi women. This was the first time a woman from Iraq she get out, and she spoke about what happened."
"Oh really, is that right?" Trump replied. "So you escaped?"
"I escaped, but I don't have my freedom yet," she replied. Murad added that about 3,000 Yazidi women and children that were being held by ISIS are still missing, which include her niece, nephew and sister-in-law.
"Let me look, we'll look," Trump said.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nadia Murad: ISIS killed my family. Trump asks 'Where are they now?'