Project Nehad


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Nehad Barkat, age 17

“Project Nehad” is the working title I coined to describe my efforts to help identify and recruit support resources for a Nehad Barkat, a young lady who was recently rescued from ISIS sexual slavery.  I was introduced to Nehad’s situation by Steve Maman, the Canadian businessman who helped to rescue her (and others), through his CYCI International nonprofit.  My intent is to use my skills to help create a US-based network of resources that will provide vital recovery services and enrichment opportunities for Nehad, and other young ladies who have been rescued from ISIS’s literal hell on Earth.

January 7, 2017 update: Read this new story, about another Yazidi girl, Lamiya, who was able to escape ISIS, but with horrific facial injuries.

January 24, 2017 update: A detailed report by the Gatestone Institute of how Yazidi girls have been sold by ISIS rapists for as little as a few packs of cigarettes — while Western feminists remain silent about their plight.

Immediate needs

The most immediate needs that I am trying to help fulfill are, in order of priority:

(1) US visit sponsorship: We need to acquire an individual or organization that will sponsor Nehad’s upcoming trip to America, which will be paid for by CYCI. The purpose of her visit will be to testify before the U.S. Congress and the United Nations about her experience as a sexual slave, and urge influential Western people and organizations to speak out, and take action to help liberate other girls still held in ISIS slavery.

It is my understanding that in order to obtain a visa to enter the US, an applicant needs a sponsor that is either an American citizen, or an American organization.  As Steve is Canadian, and Nehad is technically a citizen of Iraq, we need a person or organization to begin the application process to get her the entry visa.

(2) Medical and counseling resources: We need to recruit individuals and organizational resources that can provide Nehad with vital counseling and medical services, to aid her recovery. Learn more here.

badlands(3) Spiritual enrichment opportunities: I would like to help create opportunities for Nehad to find spiritual enrichment and relaxation while in America.  One resource that has agreed to extend such an opportunity is Legacy Mustang Preservation, a therapeutic horse ranch located near Charlottesville, Virginia, amidst the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains (described below).  This is but one of the opportunities I am pursuing, as options that can be accessed by Nehad and other newly-freed young ladies, who may follow her to America.

If you can provide any of these services, or know anyone who might, please email me, or reach out to Steve via the CYCI contact form.

About me, and my involvement in this effort

I am a liberty-oriented multimedia designer, writer and creative consultant, based in Charlottesville, VA. Learn more about my work and background here.  My primary work at the moment is focused on acting as the consulting editor and videographer of

In the context of Nehad and CYCI, my mission is to donate my time and creative skills, as possible, to help:

  • Provide pathways to healing and support services for other young ladies who are rescued from ISIS
  • Raise awareness of those young ladies who are still awaiting rescue
  • Educate the public about the ideology and psychology that drives ISIS, in regards to taking and terrorizing slaves

As an adjunct to these efforts, I would also like to help expose and hold to public account certain influential Western organizations that are ignoring the plight of ISIS slaves, yet are engaging in efforts on behalf of other supposed “social justice” causes concerning Middle Eastern issues, many of which are illegitimate (such as those that are designed to incite hatred against Israel).

About Nehad

nihad-barakatThe girls who have been rescued from ISIS slavery do not, in general, want their faces or names to be publicized. Not just for the obvious reasons, but also for their security, and because of other factors having to do with the cultural norms in the Middle East.

A few of these girls, however, have spoken out under their own names. Nehad Barkat is one of them.

Nehad was captured by ISIS at age 15, held as a sexual slave for 18 months, gave birth to a boy, then was able to escape thanks in part to CYCI International.

Here are some recent stories about, and interviews with Nehad, in major international newspapers:

Yazidi sex slave tells how she escaped from ISIS but had to leave her child behind (Daily Mail, UK, March 16, 2016)

Kidnapped by ISIS at 15: ‘I never thought I’d see the day when I was free’ (The Guardian, UK, March 17, 2016)

Yazidi teenager who escaped Isis sex slavery describes being forced to leave baby son behind (The Independent, UK, March 10, 2016)

And some videos featuring Nehad:

Here is the CYCI video that was taken as Nehad was reunited with her parents and family, and the hours following.

In my view, this young lady needs and deserves every opportunity that can be provided to heal, and to tell her story, so that those who perpetrate these atrocities – and those in positions of influence who pretend she doesn’t exist – can be held to public account.

To learn more about the victims of ISIS’s sexual slavery, please see this one-hour documentary by Australia’s ABC TV [Caution: Explicit content]:

UPDATE, May 12, 2017: Nehad is seeking to emigrate with her family to Australia

‘Let me start a new life in Australia’: Ex-ISIS sex slave, now 18, who gave birth to her rapist’s child begs for a visa after escaping the Muslim terror group, by Kate Darvall and Nelson Groom, Daily Mail (UK), May 12, 2017.

Nihad was an Islamic State sex slave and is desperate for a new life in Australia, by Latika Bourke, Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), May 14, 2017.

About Steve Maman


Steve Maman, “The Jewish Schindler”

Steve Maman is a Canadian businessman who has invested a huge amount of time, money and creativity to help rescue girls from ISIS slavery. He created an nonprofit, CYCI International, to facilitate this work.

Steve has become a personal hero of mine, and it is for this reason that I have become so committed to helping him to help these traumatized young ladies.

To make a donation: If, after reviewing the material on this page, you come to believe in CYCI’s mission, please donate to help advance its efforts, here

Due to Steve’s relentless efforts on this noble mission, he has earned an international reputation as “The Jewish Schindler,” a la Oskar Schindler, the Christian German businessman who risked his life to save several thousand Jews during the Holocaust.

Here are some articles about, and interviews with Steve, and his responses to those who criticize his model of paying brokers to buy back slaves from ISIS:

After Witnessing ISIS’s Genocide And Slavery, ‘Jewish Schindler’ Sprang Into Action, by Bradley Martin, The Federalist, June 28, 2017.

Inspired by Oscar Schindler, Jewish Businessman Leads Effort to Rescue Christian, Yazidi Girls From ISIS (The Algemeiner, US, August 10, 2015)

”I don’t do this because of religion” – Exclusive: Steve Maman liberated 140 women from ISIS + VIDEO (Admiral News, US, June 26, 2016)

Undeterred by critics, ‘Jewish Schindler’ vows to keep rescuing Yazidis (Times of Israel, September 7, 2015)

Listen to a 14:00 radio interview of Maman by Mark Levin, August 11, 2015 here

Here are a few recent videos of Steve talking about his work:

Legacy Mustang Preservation

newopps_1When I heard that Nehad may be coming to the Washington, DC area, I contacted Steve to suggest a therapeutic possibility that she might really enjoy: to visit with the horses at Legacy Mustang Preservation, a ranch south of Charlottesville, VA (where I live), in the pastoral farmlands of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The vision of LMP, as articulated by its founder and president, Jamie Dodson, is to:

  • Rescue abused and neglected wild mustangs from across the USA, and enable them to recover and live out the rest of their lives in dignity, in this expansive preserve
  • Carefully match these mustangs with abused and neglected children, to help facilitate mutual healing

Here is a short video that presents a more complete explanation of this vision:

Of course, only Nehad can decide whether or not she wants to explore this possibility, when, and under what circumstances.  My speculation, though, and Jamie’s, is that it might be a wondrous opportunity for Nehad and/or other recently-liberated ISIS slaves to simply breathe in the fresh Virginia air, and walk through Legacy’s picturesque fields, with or without the horses, without anyone asking or demanding anything from them.

To make a donation: If you’d like to donate to help advance Legacy’s important work, go here.


Medical and counseling resources sought

Starting with what Nehad said of the traumas inflicted on her by ISIS, one can only speculate on the variety of medical and counseling services that she may need, and desire.  Steve and others have already provided her, and her rescued sister slaves, with some of these services.

But in the context of offering her an opportunity to come to Charlottesville, I have been working quietly, behind the scenes, to build a network of local medical and counseling professionals who would be willing to donate a specified amount of their services to her.

To reaffirm, this is all speculative, and will only be pursued by Nehad if she chooses to do so.  All I can do at this point is to establish a basic framework of options for her to consider, laying groundwork so that her time here can be maximized.

Some of the professionals I seek:

A dentist

nehadI don’t know what kind of dental care Nehad received prior to being captured by ISIS, being that she lived in a remote part of Northern Iraq.  And while she does not have reason to smile right now, she is a determined young lady, who wants to reclaim her life.

But how many things might we offer her now, from corrective dental work on down to instruction in good basic oral hygiene practices, can we give her now, that will prevent dental problems down the road — and ensure that when she is able to smile again, she will have a beautiful one?

I realize that dental professionals are very busy, and their service is valuable.  What I would like to do, at this point, is to secure an agreement with a local dentist who will agree to give her a free initial consultation and cleaning, and an assessment of suggested future dental work that will be needed, and how much it will cost.  Perhaps through the generosity of local donors, we might raise the money to ensure that during her visit, we are able to do everything necessary to set her on a course of good, lifetime oral health.

A sexual assault counselor

Someone with deep experience particularly in human trafficking, and ideally, with at least some understanding of the militant Islamist ideology as it pertains to non-Muslim women and girls.

As above, I realize such counselors’ time is valuable, and would suggest that as in the case of the dentist, that we build an fence around the initial services this professional would be willing to provide to Nehad, and to provide an assessment, and a cost estimate of ongoing services, for defined period of time, to help her.

Yoga and meditation instructor

I have personally experienced enormous stress relief, and spiritual enrichment, though the yoga and meditation classes at ACAC.  And I can only imagine how much a young lady in Nehad’s position, having endured what she has, might also benefit from such instruction.

Given what I know of her situation, however, I imagine she might benefit much more from one-on-one instruction, as opposed to being in a room full of other people, strangers.  During my classes, I have had some extremely emotional moments, breakthroughs, that I felt the need to suppress, so as to not disturb the class.

As above, I suggest that the professional I seek propose a framework of how much time he/she is willing to offer Nehad, at least on an initial basis, and why the specific classes/techniques would be beneficial in her case.

Fashion consultant

Although I know the cultural norms in the Yazidi region of Iraq and Syria are quite different than in the West, Nehad is, after all, a young lady.  And to the extent she may wish, I would like to offer her the opportunity to connect with a fashion consultant, who can help her to assemble an attractive, comfortable wardrobe that will suit her as she travels in the West, and does media appearances and live speaking engagements.


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