GIRLS and young women who escaped violence and rape at the hands of Islamic State fighters, came to Oxford in a bid to save their culture from extinction.

The women, members of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, who have their own ancient religion, have suffered repeated genocides over hundreds of years – most recently at the hands of ISIS.

Some of the girls previously suffered as sex slaves of the radical Islamists.

They travelled from their home in Iraqi Kurdistan to Oxford to deposit a recorded archive of their sacred music for safekeeping with the Bodleian Library – one of the world’s oldest.

While at the institution’s Weston Library in Broad Street, yesterday, they performed traditional religious songs.

Read more: Meet the girls who escaped ISIS thugs

The girls were invited to the UK by the AMAR Foundation, a British education and healthcare charity in Iraq. Funding came from The British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund. The foundation’s chairman, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, is a patron of the Bodleian.

Oxford Mail:

One of the singers, Rana, 19, said: “I am very happy to be here and very grateful for the opportunity to deposit this record of our culture and religion here in Oxford and to Baroness Nicholson for making it possible.”

Baroness Nicholson said: “This is precisely where music of this beauty, antiquity and uniqueness belongs.”