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Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

A place for discussion and exchanging ideas about Kurdistan issues here, also a place for sharing article & views and analysis about Kurdistan .

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:17 am

"Khanasor is Shengal's most secure region"

The Êzidîs who returned from the refugee camps in Southern Kurdistan to Khanasor described their town as the safest region in Shengal.

The 73rd genocide which was brought upon the Êzidî community in Shengal in 2014, rendered thousands of families homeless, many of whom migrated to Southern Kurdistan and were located in refugee camps. After Shengal and its surrounding settlements were liberated, families started to return to their holy ground every day.

One of the safest places which the people return to is the town of Khanasor which was liberated by Shengal Resistance Units (YBŞ) and Shengal Women’s Units (YJŞ) forces in 2014.

One of those who have returned to Khanasor is the family of Xelil, a family of 23 who stayed in the Kendala camp of Bacid Kendala before.

Hüseyin Xelil spoke about their return and explained that their home is actually in the village Gir Izer, but they stay in Khanasor because their village was raided by the gangs who left nothing standing.

Xelil described what he came to see at his village: "I went to see our home in Gir Izer village, but the scene which ISIS left behind was a full wreckage. They destroyed and broken everything. They turned our house into some kind of pillaged grave without life in it."

Hüseyin Xelil noted that they returned from the Bacidê refugee camp and said: "We decided to come to Khanasor because we saw it is safer than all other villages and places. Here you have safety and guarantee for living. We can expect the institutions and organisations in Khanasor to help us.”

Xelîl called upon the people to turn back, saying: "I call on our people to return to their soil. Those refugee camps are camps of death. Even if death awaits us, it should be here on our holy land. Shengal is the land of our ancestors, the holiest place for our grave is here. We need to return from the camps to our soil. If some families cannot return to their villages, they shall come to Khanasor and Sinûnê which are most secure."

Azad Husen, who also returned from the Bacîdê camp in Southern Kurdistan, said: "We endured in those camps without electricity, and our only protection has been the tents above our head. We couldn't endure it anymore and returned to our soil."

Azad Husen described how they were excluded from everything and had to suffer immense hardship in those camps in relation to most basic needs of life and water, and he stressed that the most important thing remains to return to their own soil and home.

Husen called for the people, saying: "We have returned to our ground and home to take the protection of our homeland into our own hands. Even if you spend a hundred years in those camps, you have to return one day anyway. For that reason our people needs to return to their soil."
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:06 pm

From enslavement to freedom: Story of Êzidî woman Hêza

"I want to write the history of freedom in this fight. And that we free all the enslaved Êzidî girls and women, to see the moments of freedom in their eyes, to embrace them with all my heart, is because all of us have lived through the same pain."

"I am now in Raqqa. On the one side I seek to break the mentality of ISIS, on the other I desire to avenge all those women and girls and put an end to their terror. I want to write the history of freedom in this fight. I want us to rescue all the Êzidî women and girls, to see the moments of freedom sparkling in their eyes, to embrace them with all the warmth of my heart, because we all have gone through the same pain and fate. With a unified struggle we will bring them back to Shengal." These are the words of a young woman, who was enslaved following what is known as the 73rd genocide of the Êzidî community, and after her daring escape she took up an arm and joined the fight for freedom.

The 3rd of August 2014 is a black day in the history of mankind. On that day, ISIS gangs launched a well organized attack on Shengal which saw thereupon, because of the retreat of the peshmergas affiliated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK) presided by Masoud Barzani, thousands of its defenceless citizens brutally massacred and thousands of its girls and women abducted.

One of those women forcibly kidnapped by ISIS gangs was Hêza.

Hêza, who swallowed poison during her captivity at two occasions defying the coercion and force the gangs exerted on her to make her accept conversion to Islam, was subjected to terrible torture.

But Hêza never gave up on struggling for freedom and eventually managed to escape from the gangs. After her escape, she joined at once the ranks of the YJŞ, the Shengal Women's Units, and entered the armed struggle to take revenge for herself and all the Êzidî girls and women.

Hêza and her fellow Êzidî comrades within the YJŞ headed last week to the front line to take part in the Great Battle to liberate Raqqa.

This moment Hêza is standing in Raqqa, ISIS' self declared capital, and is fighting for freedom.

The press office of the Women's Defence Units (YPJ) released the impressive story of Hêza's pursuit of freedom in the emplacements in Raqqa.

Hêza tells that: “I shoot my bullets into the mentality of ISIS. I avenge the Êzidî women. I want to write the history and story of freedom in this fight.”
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:26 am

Two Yazidi girls freed in western Mosul

Two Yazidi girls were freed during an operation in western Mosul, the Ministry of Defense’s War Media Cell (WMC) said on Monday according to AlSumaria News.

“Iraq’s 9th Armored Division managed on Monday to free two Yazidi girls during an operation in al-Maidan district of Mosul,” the WMC said in a statement.

The Ministry of Interior announced today that a Yazidi girl was freed in Nineveh.

Early today, Sinjar Women’s Units (SWU) announced the participation of some of its members in the battle for Raqqa in Syria to avenge the Islamic State’s (IS) violence against the Yazidi women.

“The SWU has sent a special unit of its fighters to the Syrian City of Raqqa to take part in the liberation of the city from the IS’ grip,” an official from the all-female militia, Privian Sinjari, told Alsumaria News.

Sinjari stressed that the decision to participate in the Raqqa battle came in revenge of IS violence against the Yazidi women and girls.

“The female Yazidi fighters wants to send a message to the world through their participation in the war against the IS that ‘they are strong women who have the ability to defend herself. The Yazidi woman will not give up despite their suffering”.

http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/two-y ... mosul-wmc/
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:39 am

When Yazidi Leaders Speak

The Yazidis of the Middle East have been persecuted for centuries. But who are they?

Since 2014, a unique ethno-religious community in northern Iraq/Kurdistan known as the Yazidis has been persecuted ruthlessly by the Islamic State (IS). The information within this article is built upon what Yazidi leaders feel in regard to inaccuracies in contemporary publications about their religion, including their most prominent figure, Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir. The media often emphasize the inhuman acts of IS against the Yazidis as theologically derived, but the interviewees clarified what the real culprit is behind their 700-year persecution.

Those interviewed were Yazidi religious leader Khurto Ismail Hajj (commonly referred as Baba Sheikh); Kurdish parliamentarian and the director of Shekhan Lalish Cultural Center, Pir Khidir; and the director of religious affairs in Shekhan, Mr. Hadi.

Religious Misconceptions

Many media outlets describe Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir, one of the most important personas in Yazidism during the 12th century, as a “reformer.” Others, in contrast, overemphasize his significance. For example, Yasmine Hafiz in The Huffington Post calls him the “founder” of Yazidism.

According to Baba Sheikh, Yazidism was derived prior to Sheikh Adi — closer to the beginning of creation. Although Sheikh Adi is not the creator, it does not deduct from his value. Specific qualities omitted from many depictions of Sheikh Adi in publications entail that he communicated directly with God; his name is honorably reiterated in Yazidi invocations today; he performed miracles during his time; his grave is venerated every year at the holiest site of Yazidis in Lalish Temple; and the Yazidis posit that he was the spiritual reincarnation of Tawuus Melak, an angel of God that appeared to Yazidis in the form of a peacock angel.

The preceding traits are often used to describe prophets. But this is contrary to how Yazidis venerate Sheikh Adi. Baba Sheikh mentioned that if there was a prophet in Yazidism, it would be Tawuus Melak, not Sheikh Adi.

This is an interesting disclosure that should be further expounded upon in the future by students of theology. That is whether a religious figure’s significance should be liberally defined according to general tenets of contemporary theology or strictly defined according to precisely how the adherents and leaders of a religion proclaim. Sheikh Adi meets a plethora of criteria qualifying him as a prophet for many religions, but religious leaders such as Baba Sheikh and the majority of Yazidis generally consider him more than a reformer, but not a prophet.

The majority of publications on Yazidism also mention that Yazidi traditions are oral as opposed to written. Billy Hallowell of The Blaze states: “Yazidis primarily pass on their traditions orally, which makes pinning down all of the contemporary and historical elements somewhat difficult.”

This is partially true. Baba Sheikh disclosed that one eclectic holy book did exist, but it was stolen. He said Arabs, Turks or Persians stole the book instead of the British, which a few journalists currently claim. Therefore, Yazidism may in fact primarily rely upon oral tradition, but there is a written canon akin to the Bible or Quran. Its location is still a mystery today, though. It is also important to note that Yazidis rely upon two incomplete texts that are currently in existence: the Black Book and the Book of Revelation.

Although the societal myth about Yazidism being a religion of devil worship has been dispelled, there still remain slight misconceptions. For instance, Raya Jalabi in The Guardian postulates that Yazidism “has taken elements from each [monotheistic religion], ranging from baptism (Christianity) to circumcision (Islam) to reverence of fire as a manifestation from God (derived from Zoroastrianism) and yet remains distinctly non-Abrahamic. This derivative quality has often led the Yazidis to be referred to as a sect.”

This is incorrect. Pir Khidir, in his interview, divulged that Yazidis cherish Abraham as a major prophet and that Yazidism’s legitimacy relies upon Abraham within its narrative. In fact, as with Jewish and Islamic traditions, yet dissimilar to Christianity, the battle between King Nimrod and Abraham is mentioned by Sheikh Adi as he stated: “I was present when Adam was living in Paradise, and also when Nimrod threw Abraham in the fire.” In other words, the doctrine of Yazidism is indeed Abrahamic.

Other misconceptions pertaining to the Yazidi religion derive from misinterpreting tribal actions as resulting from Yazidism’s precepts. Justin Huggler of The Telegraph states: “There are darker sides to the Yazidis. They have a tradition of killing any of their members who leave the religion, and 2007 it was reported that Du’a Khalil Aswad, a Yazidi woman, was stoned to death for converting to Islam and marrying a Muslim man.”

Both the murdering of women for marrying outside of the religion or for apostasy in general and the tragic death of Aswad specifically were non-normative events that the Yazidi community publicly shun today and say resulted from solely tribal practices. These tribal practices are similar to Muslim and Christian communities in the Middle East and South Asia, in what has been termed “honor killings.”

Mystery of Persecution?

What makes the Yazidis’ horrific tribulations so much a riddle is the intriguing case that, because it amalgamates so much of various religions, one would comfortably expect solid bridges of tolerance to be cemented. Similar to Islam, Yazidis cleanse their hands and body prior to prayer and pray five times a day. As with Judaism, Yazidis revere the color blue as holy, and they baptize their children as Christians do. Yazidis also refrain from certain edibles such as lettuce, much like Muslims and Jews refrain from pork and Hindus banning beef.

Pir Khidir interestingly revealed that Yazidis even possess the Christian concept of the trinity with God, Tawuus Melak and Sheikh Adi. Furthermore Jesus, Muhammed, Moses, Noah and more monotheistic figures and events are acknowledged in the remaining Yazidi scriptures. Most importantly, some salient principles Yazidism shares with most religious theologies as Baba Sheikh accentuated is to do good deeds selflessly for other humans, regardless of their religion and regardless of public recognition or personal rewards. Pir Khidir insisted:

“We pray for others first, then we pray for ourselves … we respect all humanity.”

Pir Khidir added more suspense to the puzzlement of the persistent persecution of Yazidis. He stated that Yazidis do not have a record of aggressiveness against other religions or cultures. “We always defend ourselves,” he said in highlighting the benign nature of the Yazidi people.

For instance, Yazidi hero Hemoye Shero hid 20,000 Christians in caves during the Armenian genocide in 1915 and, as a consequence, Yazidis were ferociously punished by the Ottomans in a two-month siege of Sinjar Mountain. Baba Sheikh added that the Yazidis have never participated in meting out such brutality that they have suffered for seven centuries such as beheadings, forced conversions, rape and slavery.

Finally, Pir Khidir averred that Muslims, Jews, Christians and others should have no legitimate ideological anxiety from the Yazidis, because conversions are not permitted from or to the Yazidi religion. Thus, there is no ideological hazard from the Yazidis in regard to proselytizing.

Pir Khidir and Hadi mitigated the hypothesis that the Yazidis’ persecution is not actually about ideology — it is all about avarice. Both of them said that when economic tribulations occur or easy financial gain is apparent, the innocuous Yazidis have always been unjustly demonized into the enigmatic evil scapegoat by neighbors. That victimization, according to them, has always been about land but, today, it has transformed into a competition for oil and land. This is not solely from envious neighbors preying upon the weaker Yazidis, but from higher authoritative entities that either directly enable it or simply turn a blind eye.

Hadi personally expressed that the Yazidi community are deeply distrustful and adamantly fearful of their Muslim neighbors, as well as resentful toward Western powers and the Iraq/Kurdistan authorities. In general, Yazidis are in pessimistic disbelief that the Islamic State could rise to overwhelming power so quickly and commit their barbarous acts without someone aiding them. Pir Khidir echoed Hadi’s disbelief, stating that it is incredulous that Western nations could not deter IS, especially after easily removing Saddam Hussein in 2003. Hadi, in similar criticism regarding the lack of intervention in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, emphatically stressed: “If there was a European or US embassy in Sinjar Mountain, if there were two oil pipelines underneath Sinjar, none of this [genocide by IS] would have happened.”

Future of the Yazidis

Baba Sheikh asserted that the future of the Yazidi community has been mercilessly destroyed and, without America’s help, it will remain so. Hadi added that forming an autonomous state for the Yazidis and other religious minorities in northern Iraq/Kurdistan, like Montenegro, is the only viable solution for deterrence of persecution, ethnic cleansing and ending discrimination. He also expressed concern — like Baba Sheikh in his interview with Cale Salih of The New York Times — about the prosperity of the Yazidi religion in regard to the proliferating number of refugees fleeing northern Iraq/Kurdistan to foreign nations and converting to other religions.

Hadi and Pir Khidir also emphasized the detrimental effects of the IS genocide of Yazidis is also psychological. Interfaith programs repairing the distrust and fear between Yazidis and their Muslim neighbors are needed. Additionally, some mosques and schools indoctrinating anti-Yazidi propaganda need to be stymied. Finally, a thorough and official investigation of how IS rose to power and conducted ethnic cleansing, and highlighting and questioning the northern Iraq/Kurdistan government and the international community’s responses is unavoidable, if inter-community relations are to be successfully repaired.

Whatever the future of the Yazidis, they have resiliently endured much over the course of 72 extermination attempts. Whether the animosity by their neighbors stems from economic or theological issues, history demonstrates that groups such as the Yazidis mostly become victims of some ruthless outsider or neighbor. Such communities occasionally survive or suddenly become stronger by becoming exogamous and accepting proselytizing, as the Jewish in Israel.

This is a decision the Yazidis must consider themselves. History also demonstrates that via persecution, such as with the Falun Gong in China, certain religions become more known and sometimes even more popular.

The genocide against the Yazidis will pose the inquiry to all of humanity today if such endogamous and exclusive communities can live on their own accord without being punished and persecuted as an “other” by ignorant and greedy war mongers. Or will international intervention and perhaps even the formulation of autonomous zones be necessary to protect such unique groups?

*[The author would like to thank Awaz Khalil of her assistance as a religious and cultural liaison and translator.]

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

The views expressed within this article do NOT entirely coincide with the views of a great many others, including myself :ymdevil:

The majority of publications on Yazidism also mention that Yazidi traditions are oral as opposed to written. Billy Hallowell of The Blaze states: “Yazidis primarily pass on their traditions orally, which makes pinning down all of the contemporary and historical elements somewhat difficult.”

Raison d'être

The Yazidism stems from a time so far back that it started even before the written word - a great many ancient cultures have an oral tradition for similar reasons.

... amalgamates so much of various religions.... Similar to Islam, Yazidis cleanse their hands and body prior to prayer and pray five times a day. As with Judaism, Yazidis revere the color blue as holy, and they baptize their children as Christians do. Yazidis also refrain from certain edibles such as lettuce, much like Muslims and Jews refrain from pork and Hindus banning beef.

Raison d'être

Most other religions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam have their roots in Yazidism :D

For many centuries religious leaders from Judaism, Christianity and Islam have been trying to push their individual beliefs that theirs is the only true religion and that none can enter heaven without worshiping their religion =))

Unlike all other religions Yazidis respect all humanity :ymhug:
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:01 am

The Yazidi men left behind: 'ISIS/ISIL destroyed us'

Yazidi men whose wives and children were abducted by ISIS/ISIL are struggling to cope with the uncertainty of their fates.

Salem Khalaf, a 63-year-old tractor driver, vividly recalls the day in August 2014 when ISIL fighters attacked the Sinjar region.

Upon hearing that the group was drawing near and that security forces had fled, Khalaf and other Yazidi men sent their families away, while they remained in place, taking up small arms to defend their homes.

But they were no match for the fighters with ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS). After just a few days, Khalaf and his remaining neighbours fled to the mountains, taking the route that thousands of other Yazidis had followed. They faced starvation and dehydration along the way.

Khalaf has a proud and strong voice, but when he starts talking about his wife and five children - who were 10, 11, 16, 18 and 23 when he last saw them in August 2014 - he looks at the ground and can barely find words. All were kidnapped by ISIL as they attempted to flee on the family's tractor.

"My daughters used to hug me every day when I came back from work. I often used to bring little presents for all my children - dolls, plastic animals, flowers and make-up - small things to make them happy," Khalaf told Al Jazeera while sitting in his tent in a camp for displaced Iraqis near the city of Duhok. "And my wife was so beautiful and nice. We really made a good team."

A few months ago, Khalaf went back to his home in the village of Hardan, north of Sinjar, to find it completely destroyed. Everything valuable had been taken, except for the gifts he bought for his two boys and three girls. When he saw their personal belongings lying on the floor, Khalaf collapsed.

"At first, I wanted to bring some of their belongings with me, but I couldn't bear the thought of seeing these things every day. It hurts too much," he said.

According to his sister-in-law, Ida, Khalaf's wife and children were last seen in Tal Afar nearly two years ago. Ida was also kidnapped by ISIL, but released months later along with 200 other Yazidis, mostly elderly women and children. Since then, no trace of Khalaf's family has been found.

"I know that ISIL is selling them now as slaves. That is what they do with Yazidi women and girls," he said with a broken voice.

More than 6,400 Yazidis were kidnapped by ISIL when the group attacked Sinjar in August 2014, according to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Most of the men were killed and dumped in mass graves, while the women and children were abducted, repeatedly raped or forced to fight for the group.

Since then, more than 3,000 Yazidis have managed to escape, the KRG says. When the battle for Mosul started late last year, many Yazidi families hoped that their family members soon would be rescued.

"We asked the Iraqi army to cut off the road to Syria in an early stage. Unfortunately, that did not happen. Therefore, ISIL had plenty of time to transfer a lot of kidnapped Yazidis to other places, and because of this, we couldn't rescue as many of them as we were hoping for. Thousands of them are still missing," Hussein al-Qaidi, director of the KRG's Office of Kidnapped Affairs in Duhok, told Al Jazeera.

The Yazidi men left behind say they feel betrayed not only by the military forces, who withdrew in the face of advancing ISIL troops, but also by some of their Arab neighbours, who advised them to surrender. Many Yazidi families took that advice, they said, only to find out later that these neighbours were cooperating with ISIL. Questions of "what if" continue to haunt many of the men.

"When ISIL was advancing, we fled to the mountains. After a few days, we decided to look for water and food in a nearby village, as we were starving. When we were there, some of our Arab neighbours came to us. They promised to protect us," Khiri Abdallah, a 35-year-old schoolteacher, told Al Jazeera. "My wife and children went with them, and I went back to get the others. We trusted them."

Instead, Abdallah's family was handed over to ISIL. He later found out that his wife and children were brought to Syria and sold to an ISIL fighter from Tunisia, who later carried out a suicide attack. "Other ISIL members came to my family, gave them $500 and told my son that his father went to heaven," he added.

Abdallah was recently reunited with his sons Shalal, 14, and six-year-old Hachem, after more than two years. His wife and teenage daughter are still being held in ISIL territory.

In another camp in the Kurdish region of Iraq, 66-year-old Khudeda Msto Haji lives alone. Once a respected man in the town of Khanasor with a family and his own casino and catering business, he now lives alone in a tent, struggling to scrape by each day. Sometimes, he even talks to his children, pretending that they are sitting next to him in the room. :((

As he shows pictures of his wife and children, tears roll down his cheeks. "What did she do to deserve this? Why did they do this to us Yazidis? ISIL destroyed us," he asked.

Haji recently started working as a cook again to provide support for his eldest son, who is studying medicine at university and was not at home when ISIL attacked the area.

Every wedding Haji attends makes him feel even more depressed. "I try to smile and pretend to be OK, but the truth is that it hurts me a lot to see people happy. Happy people remind me of the past. I cannot even imagine that I once was a happy man with a family," he said, noting that he would do anything to rescue his wife and children from ISIL's grip.

"Another Yazidi survivor told me that my daughter was sold to a fighter in Raqqa, [Syria]. I now need $30,000 to pay for the smuggler - money I don't have," he said. "I lost everything when ISIL attacked us."

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/featur ... 25142.html
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:27 pm

On Thusday Jun 12, 2014 3:48 pm

We, at Roj Bash Kurdistan, posted the following news:

The Arabic TV Al Ghadeer said that ISIS move from Mosul to Rabia and Yezidi area in Shingal is in danger.


This means that the world had

7 WEEKS

In which to protect the Yazidis

But the world did


NOTHING

And the world still

DOES NOTHING

    To rescue the Yazidi captives

    Protect the Yazidi land from further attack

    Rebuild Yazidi homes and villages
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:34 am

Two young Yezidi girls rescued in Mosul

DUHOK, Kurdistan Region – Two Yezidi girls were rescued in Mosul on Monday.

“One of them is 10 years of age and is from the village of Kocho, and the other one is 7 years old and is from the village of Ardan,” Amin Khalal from the Kurdistan Regional Government’s office for rescuing Yezidis, told Rudaw.

They are expected to reunite with their families today in the city of Duhok, he added.

On Sunday, Nineveh police announced the rescue of a 6-year old girl in Mosul.

As of early July, figures from the Kurdistan Region show that some 3,050 Yezidis had been rescued from ISIS captivity since August 2014, of whom 1,622 are children.

Some 3,400 are still believed to be under ISIS captivity
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:28 am

Big Issue North Minority report on Yazidis

Thousands of Yazidi people fled Isis terror in northern Iraq to become refugees in Kurdistan. In the Kurdish capital Erbil, an artist from Bolton is leading attempts to help them

Dancing in a thunderstorm as lightning flashes across a dark sky, Yazidi children hold their hands upwards to catch raindrops. As we enter their camp, they splash in puddles and yell with excitement and some shout out the odd word of English.

“Hello! Hello!” hollers a young boy wearing a Barcelona football shirt, as we run for cover to the home of one of the 13 families in this makeshift camp. There are 100 people living in basic huts, in the shadow of the plush seven-star Divan Hotel that towers above this tiny encampment.

We are in Erbil, the capital of Kurdish-controlled land in northern Iraq (aka southern Kurdistan to the Kurds) and these are Yazidi refugees who’ve been living in the city as internally displaced persons (IDPs) since escaping Isis in 2014. These families are from Shingal, aka Sinjar, a town that came to the world’s attention nearly three years ago when Isis invaded suddenly and committed mass murder.

During wanton medieval violence, the Islamists massacred at least 5,000 people. They also abducted hundreds of young Yazidi women who were forced into sexual slavery. Fifty thousand fled up a mountain, where they were forced to stay without food or shelter until they were rescued by Kurdish forces.

With an uncertain future, Yazidi refugees who made it to Erbil live in a part of the Kurdish capital called Dream World, although conditions in this camp are in stark contrast to the surrounding wealth.

We are welcomed from the downpour into a family’s home. We leave our shoes at the entrance and sit on rugs on the floor. “This is beautiful – what a privilege this is,” says Tracy Fenton, a 49-year-old artist from Bolton. She is hosting our visit to the Yazidi camp with her colleague Deborah Morgan-Jones. The English women work at the University of Kurdistan, which has been supporting these Yazidi families since last autumn.

We are offered tea and biscuits and a young Yazidi girl called Samira, aged 12, does her best to translate my questions. I ask what her grandmother likes about living in Erbil.

“In Sinjar, everything is broken after Daesh [Arab name for Isis] came. It is not good, it is very bad,” is the reply. “Kurdistan, Hewler [Erbil] and the Peshmerga [Kurdish fighters] have been very good to us.”

Fenton, who studies creative education at Salford University, came to Iraqi Kurdistan in January. She says that while the Yazidis are content living in Erbil, they all wish to return to Sinjar, although political instability means this is currently not possible.

“A few weeks ago I was doing a project with them and said ‘Draw something that makes you happy’ and every single one of them drew the houses they left behind,” she says.

The majority of Yazidis consider themselves ethnically Kurdish but are religiously distinct from Iraq’s predominantly Sunni Kurdish population. Yazidism is an ancient faith that integrates some Islamic beliefs with elements of Zoroastrianism, the ancient Persian religion, and Mithraism, a religion originating in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Estimates put the global number of Yazidis at about 700,000, with the vast majority concentrated in northern Iraq, in and around Sinjar. For their beliefs, the Yazidis have been persecuted for centuries and are considered heretical devil worshippers by Isis, which wanted to wipe them out in 2014.

It is difficult to imagine what these Yazidi families have suffered. As we speak, one young girl draws her hand across her throat when she utters the word “Daesh”.

Fenton says that to be invited into a Yazidi home is extraordinary because they can be extremely insular – particularly these families that choose to be separate from other Yazidi IDPs who are housed in larger, official camps elsewhere in Kurdish territory.

“These are very interconnected families and they are Sinjar Yazidis, who are very fundamental. If we were to try and make a parallel with UK society then these would be Travellers, perhaps Romany Gypsies. They want to be together – but on their own and away from other IDPs,” Fenton explains.

We’d met her earlier at the University of Kurdistan in Erbil, along with Professor Jamal Rasul, a former refugee and minister of planning with the Kurdistan regional government. He is now principal at the educational institution.

Rasul says there are currently more than two million refugees and IDPs living in Iraqi Kurdistan. They include hundreds of thousands of Syrians, and also Iraqis who’ve recently fled the battle for Mosul.

A refugee himself once in Iran, Rasul says: “Today Kurdistan is a safe area. People from all over Iraq have come here. I know how hard it is to be a refugee. The rest of the world has a moral responsibility to keep Kurdistan on its feet. We are looking after more than two million people.”

Due to the recent mass influx of people into the region, the University of Kurdistan now has lecturers and students who are IDPs and refugees. For the Kurds, it means that the demography of their territory is changing rapidly, with 30 per cent of populations now Arab in major Kurdish cities such as Erbil, Duhok
and Sulaymaniyah. “Acceptance is now having to be practised by Kurds,” Rasul says.

Last September the university was asked to help the small Yazidi community. Morgan-Jones, who has researched post-traumatic stress disorder among refugee communities, was approached by the thinktank Middle Eastern Research Forum.

“No was not an option so I took it to the vice-chancellor and he thought it was fantastic – so we set up a recruitment programme for students,” she says. The university’s call for help led to 47 students volunteering and they now visit the camp, in groups, three times a week to assist with teaching.

Fenton came on board in January this year after writing to the university. She’s a therapeutic artist who worked with refugees in Bolton and her work with the Yazidis is part of her research for a masters degree.

She says: “In December, I just had a real pull on my heart that I need to come here, so I emailed the vice-chancellor and told him who I was and what I wanted to do. I asked if he could find a place for me to work with his students, and within three days I literally had a job. So I flew over just after Christmas.”

Artist in residence at the university, Fenton works with staff and students, helping people to deal with any trauma they’re suffering. Many students impacted by war are extremely fragile.

She’s also working therapeutically with the Yazidis, some of whom witnessed carnage in Shinjar. At Salford University, she examined the loss of occupational identity faced by refugees and a main focus of her work in Erbil is helping Yazidi women who have lost everything.

“Becoming an IDP isn’t just about losing your home. It’s about losing your actual identity. You lose your role as a mum, as counsellor, as a taxi driver. You lose everything that you maintained and created in your community,” Fenton says.

She adopts a therapeutic approach as opposed to therapy. “It’s a softer approach, it’s hands on, loving people back to life. These people are flatlining. I call it loving people back to life through creativity.”

As part of the project, she’s been helping the women to make clothes to sell – a livelihood project to help them become social entrepreneurs and get an income. It’s about tapping into their skills and giving them confidence. The men can pick up casual work.

“It’s not like back in England when they can stay home and live off benefits. Here, if they don’t work they don’t get anything,” Fenton says.

Another aim at the outset was to get young children into primary school and the university has been helped by a local school called Sabat, which offered to take 40 of them.

For now, these people have some stability but the future of this community – and tens of thousands more Yazidi IDPs – remains unclear. Sinjar, largely destroyed by Isis, remains politically unstable as various factions vie for control and it is unknown what might happen when Isis is eventually cleared from the Iraqi city of Mosul, where the terror group is battling Iraqi forces. But the University of Kurdistan is determined to continue to help the Yazidis for as long as they stay in
Erbil.

“This is a vocation, not a profession. It’s got to come from the heart,” Fenton says. “You get a lot of people who want to do this, with the right intentions, but they often fall away. The kids, you just love them. You cannot not love them. The way that everyone’s come together has been amazing. It’s just wonderful to see it growing so beautifully.”

http://www.bigissuenorth.com/features/2 ... ty-report/
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:15 pm

Following genocide, Shengal reinvents itself anew

The people of Shengal, dozens of its organisations and associations have reinvented themselves anew after the fatal genocide of the 3rd August 2014

Following the 73rd genocide on the 3rd of August 2014 in which thousands of Êzidîs were massacred and thousands of girls and women taken as slaves, the Êzidî community has formed its very own military forces, councils, educational organisations, academies and political parties to protect their community from being subjected to any new massacre.

Let's take a look at the associations and organisations, which have been founded in Shengal following the genocide.

SHENGAL DEFENSE UNITS (YBŞ)

After the people managed to escape to the Mount Shengal, which was always a safe haven the Êzidî community fled to during each and every previous genocide they faced, it opened also this time its stiff arms for its people.

Nine riders defended the most strategic spots and hindered the ISIS gangs to even set a foot on the mountain. Hearing this, armed and unarmed Êzidîs hooked up with the troopers to fulfil once more their historic duty, plunging themselves into the emplacements and the path of resistance. Those very same ones who teamed up with the life-saving troopers, decided that time had come for them to establish their own defence force, comprising of young Êzidî men and women.

In September 2014, not even one month after the brutal genocide, they finally declared the formation of the Shengal Defence Units (YBŞ). The Êzidî youth, whose hopes with outside forces had been totally severed, flocked one by one to the ranks of the YBŞ. When the YBŞ was founded, it stressed that they are the reaction to the genocide and that they will stop with their bodies as shield the fate of being subjected to ever recurring genocides.

What is the reason behind the formation of the YBŞ?

Even though thousands of armed soldiers had been on the spot, within a couple of hours the Êzidî community had been abandoned and left to fend for themselves as the entire population of Shengal had been thrown at the ISIS gangs' feet. The Êzidî community, which served for years in the armies of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) presided by Masoud Barzani and of the Iraqi state, found themselves all of a sudden totally alone with no one being ready to protect them and standing for Shengal's honour.

Unforgettable are the moments when Barzani claimed in a statement some days before the genocide Shengal to be his honour, but throwing that honour in one single night under the bus without giving even one note alone and without looking for a second behind. For this simple reason the founding of the YBŞ was a must. So that the youths of the holy Ezidkhan is able to defend its people and homeland on their own and to not get stuck into the trap of betrayal once more, the decision to found the YBŞ was taken.

SHENGAL WOMEN'S UNITS (YJŞ)

Those who were killed and abducted the most during the genocide were once again the Êzidî women. Alone to not fall into the hands of the barbaric ISIS gangs and to remain faithful to their ancient religion of the peacock angel Tawusê Melek, hundreds of women jumped from the high cliffs of the Mount Shengal with a straight face. The other Êzidî women were taken hostage and sold in markets in this 21st century, which boasts with having improved on humanity and democracy.

Because the systems the Êzidî women were living in rendered them without will and confidence, the arrival of the seven troopers among whom were also female combatants fighting fearlessly against the ISIS gangs in their emplacements, filled their hearts with enormous hope. When shortly afterwards fighters of the Women's Defence Units (YPJ) charged the ISIS gangs relentlessly to save the people and open the life saving Corridor of Humanity, the Êzidî women began to convince themselves that also they can like these brave women take position in the emplacements of the resistance. Borne out of all this, Êzidî women decided in 2015 to establish the Women's Defense Unit of Shengal (YPJ-Shengal). Shortly after that the name got changed to Shengal Women's Units (YJŞ). The YJŞ said in its first statement that they have decided to forge this military formation primarily in order to avenge the Êzidî women taken slaves and sold in markets.

Until now the YBŞ and YJŞ have liberated the city of Shengal, the town Khanasor, the villages of Dohula, Boruk, Digur, Bare, Kerse, Çilmêran, Behreva, Medîban, Kolik, Xeyalê, Sikêniyê, Cîdalê, the entire Mount Shengal and the way connecting Shengal with Raqqa. Even though there might be now a couple of different units present in some areas and villages, those villages and towns however have all been liberated from ISIS gangs with the blood and sweat of the YBŞ-YJŞ. A border of 39 kilometres separated the emplacements of the YBŞ-YJŞ from those of the ISIS gangs. Until the arrival of the Iraqi Hashd al-Shaabi unit to these areas, the People's Defense Forces (HPG) and the YBŞ had already fought shoulder to shoulder for 11 months against the ISIS gangs in Shengal.

SHENGAL CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY

The Êzidî community decided on the 14th January 2015 for the first time in their history to administer themselves without being dependent on anyone else anymore. The main objective of the Assembly is to organize, protect and educate the people. When these aims were issued in the press, Barzani was the first one to voice his discontent. He openly stated: "The PKK wants to establish cantons in Shengal." But this was on the contrary a decision given by the people of Shengal themselves. The people saw after the genocide that if they do not administer themselves in such a decisive time, facing genocides will always be their fate. To prevent new massacres against their community, they established the Shengal Constituent Assembly. This Assembly does exist for two years now and representatives of all organisations and associations are part of it. The Assembly consists of 14 committees and has altogether 34 members. In July 2016 the Council of Khanasor was also declared. Following the flood of returnees to their villages, the Êzidî Democratic Society Coordination made the decision to have every village form its own council. On the 11th March 2017 the village Borik founded its council, and on the 30th of March the Council of Serdeşt at the Shengal mountain, comprising 63 members, was introduced.

DEMOCRATIC AUTONOMOUS ASSEMBLY

On the 14th January 2017, the anniversary of the Shengal Constituent Assembly's foundation, efforts towards the realization of Shengal's autonomy were launched. As many civilians started to return to all villages in Shengal with thousands of Êzidîs still remaining in Mount Shengal, the reinforcement of the council became a must. On the 30th of May the Constituent Assembly held its 2nd congress, in which among other things the name of the council was changed to Shengal Democratic Autonomous Assembly. Members of this assembly are representatives of all existing villages, comprising of altogether 101 persons. In addition to that, the system of the Co-presidency was also introduced, something unprecedented in the history of Shengal.

Following the assembly's proclamation, the Shengal Executive Board was elected as well. All organisations and associations of Shengal are part of the Shengal Democratic Autonomous Assembly.

FREE ÊZIDÎ WOMEN'S MOVEMENT (TAJÊ)

The biggest victims of the 73rd genocide were once again women and girls, who were humiliated and sold as slaves at markets. Êzidî women who were determined to build up their own strong will and administer from now on themselves, decided to institute the Free Êzidî Women's Movement (TAJÊ), whose primary role and mission is to organize and educate Êzidî women. The council of the TAJÊ consists of 31 members.

ACADEMY

After the brutal genocide academies and education per se became an eminent necessity particularly for the Êzidî community. For that reason the Academy of Martyr Egid Efrîn was established in January 2016. This academy provides many lessons and courses periodically, mainly on the subjects of the core of the Êzidî belief, the Êzidî religion, Êzidî culture, self administration and becoming bearer of one's own will. Also leading figures of the community take part in these lessons, which extend over a period of one month. Another academy is the Independent Academy of Martyr Binevş Edessa, founded by the Free Êzidî Women's Movement (TAJÊ). On top of that, also military training in the frame of self defence is offered.

EDUCATION IN SHENGAL

As there is nothing left anymore upholding the names of the regional government and the Iraqi system in Shengal, the Êzidî youths have opened in pitched tents provisional schools for the children of Shengal according to their limited possibilities. Classes are being given under such conditions for three years now. And for the first time ever Shengal's children enjoy lessons in their mother tongue. In every village and every area schools have been set up and children are educated. All in all ten schools have been built up so far, consisting of 40 classes. The educational level goes up until the sixth grade. While last year 400 pupils enrolled in classes, this year the number of the students has grown up to 600. Altogether 33 teachers are in charge of the schools. Language, Mathematics, Social Studies, Sport, Art, Biology and Music lessons are available. This year also Arabic and English lessons have been added.

SOCIAL SERVICES (MUNICIPALITY)

The Social Service Office was introduced following the genocide. Its priorities are to place its service at the Êzidî community's disposal and meet the community's needs. It is indiscriminately at the service of all the entire people of Shengal. With five water tanks, one tractor and one garbage truck, it tries hard to secure service for 55 to 60 thousand people. 47 volunteers are working unfailingly for this office.

ÊZÎDÎ FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY PARTY (PADÊ)

The Êzidî Freedom and Democracy Party was founded in 2016, joined by the Movement of Free Êzidîs. Its chairman is Sheikh Qehtan Eli. The main aim of the PADÊ is to organize the people, enlighten and educate them. The PADÊ will take part in Iraq's general elections and represent Shengal's Êzidî community. There are three main offices of the PADÊ in Shengal's villages. The party has been acknowledged officially by the Iraqi state and issued its licence.

ÊZİDXAN ASAYİSH

As the population in Shengal's centre and villages is ever growing again and also because the YBŞ and YJŞ units are mostly active on the frontlines, the unanimous decision was given in June 2016 to introduce an own separate police force, the Asayish, for the protection and maintaining of the internal security. With this purpose the police force of Ezidxan was established. Hundreds of its policemen and women are protecting and keeping safe the villages and central areas against any attacks from outside.

ÊZİDXAN SPECIAL UNITS (YTE)

To provide the YBŞ and YJŞ with professional training, the Êzidxan Special Units (YTE) was founded in 2016. It is a special task force taking care of more dangerous situations, which has already rescued dozens of Êzidî women from the clutches of the ISIS gangs in special operations so far.
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:36 am

Yazidi survivor: 'I was raped every day for six months'

In 2014, so-called Islamic State fighters targeted the Yazidis, an ethnic Kurdish group in northern Iraq, killing the men and capturing the women and children.

Ekhlas, who was 14 at the time, tried to escape up Mount Sinjar but was not fast enough.

She was captured and held as a sex slave for six months.

phpBB [video]


Direct Link to Video:
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:45 pm

Intimate photos emerge of Daesh judge in Iraq with captive Yazidi women

Image

Recently, social media published photos of one of the Daesh fighters in Iraq with one of the Yazidi female prisoners who was captured by Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi militias.

According to social accounts of Iraqi journalists, the security forces came across one of the cell phones likely belonging to a militia member, and they found photos where the Daesh judge of the ‘State of the Tigris’ called Mullah Sajid Ahmed Ali Shargi, with a number of Yazidi women in intimate positions.

On June 11 this year, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense announced that a Daesh militia prison had been found in which Yazidi women were being held on the coast right of Mosul.

The ministry said in a statement: “The Iraqi army found an ISIS (Daesh) militia prison where a number of Yazidi women were kept, before they were defeated in the 17 Tamoz district Mosul.”

It is noteworthy that according to a statistic issued by the security committee formed to follow up the kidnapped Yazidis last February, the number of the captives reached 3,200 — half of them being young girls and women.

According to the report, the militia transfers the abducted women and children from one district to another, pointing out at the same time that a number of the kidnapped women were killed or killed themselves. Some them were killed during military actions and others committed suicide after being captivated.

Although Mosul was liberated, only a few Yazidis were rescued, according to human rights reports, indicating the presence of many Yazidis in the city of Raqqa and Deir Al-Zour in Syria, in addition to the remaining cities of Iraq such as Tal Afar and Hawija. — Al Arabiya English

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/5136 ... Mena/Daesh
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