A Cave in the Clouds
A Young Woman's Escape from ISIS
Captured by ISIS, her bravery and faith became her pathway to freedom.
Badeeah Hassan was just 18 when she witnessed firsthand the horrors of the 2014 genocide of the Yazidi people by ISIS forces. Captured by ISIS, known locally as Daesh, Badeeah was among hundreds forced into a brutal human trafficking network made up of women and girls of Yazidi ethnicity, a much-persecuted minority culture of Iraq. Badeeah’s story takes her to Syria where she is sold to a high-ranking ISIS commander known as Al Amriki, the American, kept as a house slave, raped, and routinely assaulted. Only the presence of her young nephew Eivan and her friend Navine, also prisoners, keeps her from harming herself. In captivity, she draws on memories and stories from her childhood to maintain a small bit of control in an otherwise volatile situation. Ultimately, it is her profound sense of faith and brave resistance that lead her to escape with Eivan and reunite with family.
Since her escape, Badeeah has brought her harrowing story of war and survival to the world’s stage, raising awareness about the strength of her people and the acts of genocide against them. This captivating account of courage extends beyond the confines of her experience; Badeeah’s story is about the resilience of women, girls, and persecuted groups everywhere in the face of seemingly insurmountable oppression.
“It is not easy to read, but it is the current reality and it is well told.”- Youth Services Book Review, 12/18/18
“Stands out for its coverage of the assault upon a small cultural group, the Ezidis.”- CM Reviews, 02/08/19
“A powerful read . . . and a story that needed to be told.”- Book Time, 04/08/19
“A grim but worthy read.”- Kirkus Reviews, 12/19/18
“Deeply personal and immediately real . . . The narrative is authentic . . . poetic and beautiful.”- School Library Journal, *starred review, 03/19
“Badeeah’s story is one ultimately of hope.”- School Library Connection, 05/19
“Badeeah’s perspective is unique . . . This story is a necessary part of understanding how ISIS impacts the lives of those it rules.”- Resource Links, 10/19