"I thought if I stay and mourn all day nothing will change. If I talk- the international community will hear me."

Layla Taalo

The true story of Layla Taalo, kidnapped by IS in August 2014. Layla was held captive for two years, eight months, and six days where she was victim to psychological and physical abuse, rape, and torture. Being at the forefront in the battle against sexual exploitation of Yazidi women Layla was awarded with the Mother Teresa Memorial Awards in 2018. 

Photo: HagueTalks / Ramaz Melashvilli

Yazidi infoBook: the nights of pain
 Layla Taloo

“I’m not just a victim. I’m a mother who wants to give the past a place and create a better future for myself and my children”

the book “Layla and the Nights of Pain”

The book became widely known shortly after its release. In the harrowing account, Layla reveals the details of one of the world’s worst tragedies where thousands of the ethnic-minority group were kidnapped by IS and subject to horrendous crimes.

Layla Taloo - Layla and the nights of pain

Together with her brother Kaled, she wrote this impressive book. The book is special for several reasons. It is one of the few occasions that a woman has come out with her story. It is also the first time that a Yazidi man has been brave enough to listen to and write down his sister’s story.

With this book, Kaled has broken the taboo in Iraqi society about discussing sexual violence. The book’s publication has been made possible by Emma Organization (link to English website) and Hivos (link to Dutch website). Layla has chosen to tell her painful story and have it translated into English as a way of raising international awareness community for the current plight of these women. 

* Price is eur 10,00 + added costs for sending

Layla Talo0

Layla, full name Layla Taloo Khudher Alali, was born on january 22, 1987 and lives in refugee camp Shariya in Northern Iraq with her two children and parents. Her husband and brothers have not been seen since they were taken hostage by IS.

In 2014 Layla was kidnapped by IS. In the following three years she was sold as a slave, abused and tortured but managed to keep her two children with her and eventually escaped.

Layla decided to take to the international stage and use her voice to stop violence against Kurdish Yazidi people. Doing so she travelled around the world and spoke at several official events. In 2018 she was awarded with the Mother Teresa Memorial Awards.

On august 3, 2019 it was five years since Layla and thousands of other Yazidi were kidnapped or killed.

Layla Taalo

Layla Taalo Khudher Alali (right) | Photo Credit: Supreet Sapkal



Layla visits Kocho (Kojo) village

Layla visits Kocho (Kojo) village

On 14 August, 2019, Layla visited Kocho village where a mass grave was found. The bodies of the victims will be reburied and DNA will be taken for examination, further identification and evidence for future claims and accusations at a tribunal. Layla visited a school...

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5 years later – aug 3, 2014

5 years later – aug 3, 2014

On 3 August, 2014, ISIS launched a genocide against the Yazidis living in Sinjar, northern Iraq, which led to the death and disappearance of thousands. Layla, 32, was kidnapped and forced to become a sex slave. She was sold eight times. Five years later hundreds of...

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Layla’s mission

Layla Taloo at HagueTalks / Netherlands


Hivos seeks new and creative solutions to persistent global problems; solutions created by people taking their lives into their own hands. We offer a positive counterbalancing force against discrimination, inequality, abuse of power and the unsustainable use of our planet’s resources. Our mission is to innovate for social change. With smart projects in the right places, we work towards more open and green societies.

Link to the Hivos website


Aug 3 2019 - HagueTalks - 5 years since ISIS

The Hague, Netherlands: Layla talks about the past five years and her future goals.

Link to HagueTalk website

OCT 21 2018 - Mother Teresa memorial awards

Mumbai, India: Layla receives award for social justice during ceremony.

Link to article and video

Contact us / order the book

!!! To keep costs low we print our book on demand. Due to this situation we ask you to fill in this form and we will contact you about delivery and costs.

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Layla Taalo is also known as Laila or Leyla Talo, Talou, Taloo. Yazidi is also referred to as Yezidi. IS is also referred to as ISIS or Daesh.


laylataalo.org has been established to act as a platform for English-speaking visitors to gather information about Layla Taalo and her strive for a better life for the Yazidi community.


Layla Taalo can not be held responsible for the content on this website, or any errors that might occur by misinterpretation or using internal or external links. All images and videos placed on laylataalo.org are for public use or have been source-linked to the owner.

Website stuff

If you want more information about this website please contact Marcus van Wely at
Consider IT Done > info@donethat.nl