Beyond Chibok: Nigerian Women in the Middle, Grasping for Peace

It has been 365 days and they are still missing. A whole year has passed since global attention focused on Nigeria in the aftermath of the kidnap of female students sitting exams from the Government Secondary School in Chibok in Borno State in the North East.

This was not the first time girls and women have been abducted and it was not the last. What was different about Chibok was the number of girls taken and the global interest this sparked. The worldwide movement encompassed the unlikely combination of Nobel Peace Laureate Malala Yousufzai, the pop star Chris Brown, women in a Syrian refugee camp, Michelle Obama and, of course, women’s rights activists from across Nigeria. They demanded a serious, urgent and decisive response.

Nigerian refugees in Gagamari camp

The Orange Trees of Baghdad

The Orange Trees of Baghdad was born out of rage. How does a book begin? Sometimes with an idea, a thought, a concept, a scene, for me it was an emotion and a phone call. Like everyone in the Western world in 2003, I watched the build-up to the war in our media and our parliaments, and like many millions around the world, I’d believed the war was unnecessary and unjust and would do more harm than good to the Iraqi people.

Baghdad girl by Zoriah