IN MEMORIAM; Dr. Nenam Ghatouri

Published: 23 April 2021

Reposted from

Dr. Nenam Ghatouri

A self-portrait of Dr. Nenam Ghatouri

Nemam was a heart surgeon and a founder of Joint Help for Kurdistan and she was my friend, my guide in Kurdistan. Really I would follow her anywhere (and did). Nemam was filled with Joy. She met everyone with Joy. She rescued with Joy. She performed surgery with Joy. She held wailing girls with Joy.

For the past six years, along with many devoted women (primarily nurse practitioners), we have worked together and created a holistic women’s center for Yazidi women and girl survivors of captivity and sexual slavery. VDAY supported the project with initial funding. The center is located at the Bajed Kandala IDP camp near the Syrian border. It is temporarily shut due to the pandemic. Nemam, devastatingly, died of covid.

– Paula Allen
Paula is an award winning photojournalist who has documented the V-Day movement extensively since the beginning.

Following is a tribute written by Nemam’s sister:

Dr. Nemam Ghatouri 1968-2021
Our beautiful, brave and joyful Nemam. You came into this world amidst war. Born in a cave, lived your life like a hurricane of hope and you left this world with strength. You survived ISIS attacks in Shingal and Erdogans thugs in Kobane.

The loss isn’t just ours or a few peoples. It is truly a humanitarian disaster. Who is going to go to Al Hol disguised as ISIS to find and rescue children? Who is going to put children’s rights before stupid traditions? Who is going to fight for genocide survivors for real and not just for social media? Who is going to go tent-by-tent, camp-by-camp day and night to find the most vulnerable people to help? Who is tirelessly going to Kobani, Efrin and Sere Kani to help children who were traumatized and attacked by the Turkish Army? Who is going to keep asking UN and NATO why they allow Turkey to commit genocide?

There is no one like you but at least we can promise that we are many who will make sure that those mothers and children you risked your life for will remain safe and have a wonderful life. We and the thousands you have inspired will keep fighting for the victims of oppression, for humanitarian values of life and flourishing over bigotry and sectarianism.

You will forever be in our hearts Dr Nemam just as we and the most vulnerable will be in yours.