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The Chibok Girls

In The Chibok Girls, Nigerian author Helon Habila describes one of the most horrific recent tragedies to occur in Nigeria: the kidnapping of 276 girls from the Chibok Secondary School in April 2014 by Boko Haram, the world's deadliest terrorist group, whose name translated into English means "Western education is abhorrent." Habila returned to Nigeria twice in the last year to track down some of the escaped girls and their families, reconstruct what happened on that fateful day and understand how the town is coping. The result is a compassionate and powerful account of the tragedy and of lives lived under the constant threat of Islamist militancy.

Join New America on December 8th, 2016 for a discussion with Helon Habila on remembering the Chibok Girls and the threat of complacency to overcoming terror groups like Boko Haram.

Nigerian novelist Helon Habila is one of the leading African voices to emerge in the 21st century. Having grown up in Nigeria during the time of military dictatorship, he writes passionately about justice and injustice, power and powerlessness.


Matthew Davis 
Fellow, New America


Helon Habila @helonhabila
Author, The Chibok Girls: The Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria
Associate Professor, George Mason University 


Karen Attiah @KarenAttiah
Global Opinions Editor, Washington Post