Zina Hamu

Yazidi IDP

Zina Salim Hamu, 22 years old, is a Yazidi IDP (internally displaced person) from Shingal, a town in Iraqi Kurdistan. She is a photographer, student in journalism, and candidate for the 2018 Emerging Young Leader Award.

Zina has dedicated herself to portraying the story of the Yazidi people through photo journalism. Having witnessed the genocide personally as Yazidi girls were kidnapped or killed by ISIS, and Yazidi children were locked in captivity and later trained to become ISIS terrorists, Zina has become the voice to carry the story to the international community.

In 2014 Zina was displaced by ISIS and fled to the Khanke camp in the Kurdistan region, Iraq. In 2015, she was given an opportunity to take part in the project of Photographic techniques to empower Yazidi girls, initiated by Shayda Hessami, women empowerment expert, and supported by UNICEF. In 2017, by a invitation of the Italian defense minister, Zina, who successfully passed the intense training, opened a journalism photo exhibition in the MAXXI museum, Rome. This exhibition tells the story and realities of Yazidi people living in the camp. The exhibition has also been displayed in Iraq, Italy and Lithuania. Zina’s story had been published in Reuters, AGE newspaper, POLKA magazine, CNN, YallaIraq, ANSA Agency, and National Geographic.

Currently, Zina Salim Hamu is a student at LCC International University in Klaipeda, Lithuania where she received a full Middle East Scholarship to pursue her education in Communications and Journalism. She is also a member of Humanitarian Aids and Journalism Organization for women empowerment and gender equality programs. She is a candidate for the US Department of State’s Emerging Young Leaders Award 2018.

For examples of her work, see:

> the Reuters report

> her LCC University interview

> her presentation at the MAXXI museum in Rome 

> her project presentation at UNICEF in Rome

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Events in past editions