The girl who beat ISIS

Andrea C Hoffmann & Farida Khalaf

In August 2014, Farida, like any ordinary teenage girl, was enjoying the summer holidays before her last year at school. But Farida lived in the mountains of northern Iraq — and what happened next was unimaginable. Her village was an ISIS target.

ISIS jihadists murdered the men and boys, including her father and brother, before taking Farida and the other women prisoner. This is the story of what happened to Farida after she was captured: the beatings, the rapes, the markets where ISIS sold women like cattle, and Farida's realisation that the more resistant she became, the harder it was for her captors to continue their atrocities against her. So she struggled, she bit, she kicked, she accused her captors of going against their religion, until, one day, the door to her room was left unlocked. She took her chance and, with five younger girls in her charge, fled into the Syrian desert.

Farida showed incredible courage in the face of the unthinkable, and now with The Girl Who Beat ISIS she bravely relives her story to bear witness. Searing and immediate, this is the first memoir by a young woman that shows first-hand what life is like for innocents caught up in the maelstrom of day-to-day life with ISIS.

Press commentaries

  • "Farida’s story is a horrifying glimpse into the barbaric inner workings of the caliphate." (The Independent)
  • "This powerful testimoney is... as gripping as it is appalling" (Guardian)
  • "painstakingly reconstructed by the journalist Andrea Hoffmann" (The Times)
  • "Shattering, brave, angering account" (The Bookseller)
  • "Unimaginable and courageous…" (, July 13, 2016)
  • "THE GIRL WHO ESCAPED ISIS is [Farida Khalaf’s] incredible account of captivity and describes how she defied the odds and escaped a life of torture, in order to share her story with the world." (Book Reporter, July 12, 2016)

More releases

  • Das Mädchen, das den IS besiegte
    Andrea C Hoffmann & Farida Khalaf
  • La jeune fille qui a vaincu daech
    Andrea C Hoffmann & Farida Khalaf
  • The Girl who escapes ISIS
    Andrea C Hoffmann & Farida Khalaf
  • La schiava bambina dell'Isis
    Andrea C Hoffmann & Farida

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