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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:38 am
Author: Anthea
Roji and Eda Rojiet Ezi (Yezidi Fasting)

The Three Day Fast of December is one all Yezidis are expected to observe. Fasting occurs from dawn until sunset, and the nights are given to feasting, merry making and some prayer. This is also the time for fasting in other ancient traditions, time to connect with the divine, celebrate and pray for world peace. Time to connect with our neighbors and the global village we live in

As for the Eda Rojiet Ezi or Feast of “Ezi or the Almighty”, it falls on Friday after three days of fast according to oriental calendar. in 2018, the holiday fell on December 15th.

My sincerest apologies for being unsure

The Yezidis have a calendar which is around 7000 yrs old. Yezidis have been subjected to 74 genocides in history and lately at the hands of ISIS. Despite all odds Yezidis survive till this date with the message of peace and universal wellbeing for all of humanity.

A proper way to wish others happy holiday at this time would be to say:

Eida Rojiet Ezi – Feast of Ezi (name of the holiday)
Eida Wa Piroze Be – Happy Holidays to you all

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:57 am
Author: Anthea
Turkey to continue anti-terrorist operations in Iraq’s Sinjar

Turkey will continue air operations in Iraq’s Sinjar against militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Turkish Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar said, Trend reports with reference to the Turkish media Dec. 20.

He noted that Turkey’s goal is to clear its borders from terrorists and ensure its own national security.

“Measures are being taken to clear from terrorists the Manbij area in northern Syria,” said Akar.

Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara may strike at Iraqi regions of Qandil, Sinjar and Makhmur.

Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, should leave the Yazidis alone

Especially the PKK, if their being there makes the Yazidi land a target for the vile barbaric deleted expletive Turks

The UN MUST protect the Yazidis and their lands

The coalition, always happy to obliterate everything and everyone in sight (both enemy and friend) should do something positive - such as BUILD new homes and villages for the Yazidis

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 3:27 am
Author: Anthea
'If ISIS Attack Again, I Want To Fight Back'
By Louise Donovan

'No one knew what was happening or where they are going,' explains 17-year-old Hussna. 'We just knew we needed to run.'

Click to enlarge

Before ISIS swarmed her village, in Sinjar city, northern Iraq, Hussna was a normal girl. She attended secondary school. She liked sport – 'all kinds of sport' – but was forced to leave.

'They attacked us at seven am,' she says. 'My family and I were fortunate enough to own a small car which we could escape in. We didn’t know what this brutal group was doing and why they were killing innocent women and children. Everyone was running through the streets while ISIS gangs shot and killed thousands of Yazidi people. It was like a nightmare happening in reality.'

In August 2014, tens of thousands of members of the Yazidi religious minority, facing genocide from ISIS, escaped to the mountain from the town of Sinjar and surrounding villages.

Hussna was one of them. But she and her family, like many others, found themselves trapped, with only 'a few' drops of water and one piece of bread each day. After four days and nights, they escaped again, and the family is now living in the Rwanga refugee camp in Qaida, in the Kur­dis­tan re­gion of Iraq.

The camp is full of girls just like Hussna. It’s home to al­most 3,000 Yazidi refugee fam­i­lies who had to flee for their lives when ISIS at­tacked. The terrorist group have committed large numbers of massacres. No one knows exactly how many men died, but many of the women and girls were kept alive and abducted. They were enslaved, raped or sold into slavery.

While not everyone here suffered sexual violence, everyone has lost their homes. Instead of mourning, however, many of the women and girls are limbering up for a fight. Or rather, a boxing fight, complete with gloves and gear.

'I train every day for one hour,' explains Hussna. 'I practise because it makes me feel strong and confident.'

Back in October, a new programme called Boxing Sisters was set up by Lotus Flower, a charity which works with women and girls affected by conflict. The aim is to help girls relieve aggression, as well as protect themselves against the threat of violence in Northern Iraq.

'When you’ve lost everything, it’s very hard to feel empowered,' says Ta­ban Shoresh, the founder of Lo­tus Flower, and a child genocide survivor herself. Her father was a political activist, and her family were on Saddam Hussein’s ‘Most Wanted’.

'A lot of these women have gone through really traumatic experiences; boxing is not only great exercise, it's also really good for mental health.'

Those who managed to escape have helped paint a surreal picture of the atrocities ISIS fighters committed against Yazidi women and children. Like the 3-year-old whose ear was bitten off by his ISIS captor; or the 19-year old repeatedly raped while pregnant with her executed husband’s child.
The Yazidi Women Fighting Back With Boxing

Taban Shoresh

Similar stories emerge in the Rwanga camp. But girls, like Hussna, refuse to be victims.

'I want to tell all Yazidi women and girls: "learn boxing!". This wasn't the first attack on our people and I'm sure it won't be the last – we need to know how to fight back. I want to learn how to fight back. Boxing breaks the fear and the shame that women feel in our community, and that we're only good for baking or cleaning.'

Hussna, like 17-year-old Ghazal, talk about how powerful they feel when training. Both girls are being lined up to be boxing coaches.

'Everyone thinks I'm weak – it's amazing when I box because I don't feel like that,' explains Ghazal.

The boxing sessions are currently run every week by male martial art/kickboxing instructors. But Shoresh has recruited for­mer pro-British boxer Cathy Brown who runs Box­ol­ogy, a boxing acad­emy in London. The aim is for Brown to visit the camp and teach the girls to be­come box­ing train­ers them­selves, which they can then use to earn a living.

'We're not sure when, but one day these women and girls will go back to their homes, and when that happens at least they've got a transferable skill,' explains Shoresh. 'They'll be trained to a qualified, professional standard and they can make an income off it afterwards.'

The boxing scheme is currently running in just one camp, but the plan is to roll out to other centres beyond the region if funding allows. Really, though, the project is designed purely for girls as an outlet to help them gain confidence, break out of their closed environments within the camp and form new friendships.

'The women are so angry,' explains Shoresh, 'but they use the pad to release all that anger.'

Most importantly, it seems to be working. As Hussna explains, she not only feels more relaxed, and much stronger, but like she's got a new family.

'A lot of us have lost beloved relatives and friends,' she says, 'and we've experienced big atrocities. But through training, the other girls and I are becoming close friends. The sessions provide a safe space and give us the support we really need to overcome our depression. I dream of training other women to be strong and confident.' ... is-attack/

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 3:31 pm
Author: Anthea
Syria's Yazidis will suffer the consequences of US withdrawal

Syria's Yazidi and other minority groups could become a target for Turkish-backed militias like elements of the Free Syrian Army, US-based human rights group Yazda has warned

Yazda co-founder and former US army translator Hadi Pir said on Friday that extremists are likely to take advantage of the imminent withdrawal of American forces from Syria and attack persecuted minorities like the Yazidis.

"They persecute Yazidis and they change their temples to mosques and force them to convert to Islam," Mr Pir said about the Turkish backed brigades of the FSA. "Most of them run away."

This ancient monotheistic faith has long been a victim of violence and religious misinterpretation. Their highest religious figure, Malak Taus – a peacock angel – is viewed by many as the devil and its followers as "devil worshipers".

In both Christianity and Islam, the devil is presented as a fallen angel, which has led Yazidis to be perceived as "devil-worshippers". This perception was used by ISIS to justify atrocities against the minority group after 2014 in Iraq, non-profit Norwegian Refugee Council said in a recent report.

Yazidi folklore often refers to the 74 genocides they suffered throughout history, including ISIS' attack in Iraq’s Sinjar, which killed and displaced tens of thousands.

There are less than 1 million Yazidis worldwide and while it's almost impossible to find accurate numbers, some 10,000 are estimated to live in Syria.

Mr Pir says the presence of American troops in minority areas has kept vulnerable groups safe, but President Donald Trump's decision to pull out US forces could change this.

Although Mr Pir acknowledges that ISIS remains a threat, Turkish-backed forces have quickly become a prime concern.

Turkey backs dozens of brigades and armed factions in Syria. The largest among them are the Syrian National Army and the National Front for Liberation, both part of the FSA, a coalition of opposition militias fighting against the regime of Bashar Al Assad.

In some northern towns under control of Turkish-backed groups in the Free Syrian Army, residents have spoken out against forced conversions to Islam, The Independent recently reported. The names of Yazidi villages changed to Arabic names, and residents branded as infidels.

President Trump in December signed legislation to ensure humanitarian relief reaches religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria, in a bid to investigate ISIS' violence toward these communities. But going forward it is unlikely that a bill agreed upon in the White House will offer the same kind of safety that the presence of American troops has offered the Yazidis. ... t-1.807472

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:20 pm
Author: Anthea
Mosul tribes respond to those
asking Turkey to strike Shengal

Arab tribal leaders in Mosul responded to Sheikh Muzahim al-Huwaidi, asserting that he represented only himself

The leaders of several Arab tribes in Mosul responded to Sheikh Muzahim al-Huwaidi’s invitation of Turkish occupation army and his call to intervene in Shengal, stressing that Huwaidi is responsible for the deaths of the people of Shengal who died in the bombing of Turkish air strikes and stressed that ‘he should be held accountable.’

"As the tribes north of Mosul, we ask the government not to allow Sheikh Muzahim al-Huwaidi speak on behalf of anyone on our land," said Qasim al-Moussawi, a tribal leader in Mosul.

"Anyone who speaks in these terms and asks the Turkish state to strike Shengal, will be responsible for possible deaths and damages. We are asking the government to protect this country and not to allow Turkey to shell Shengal again. These people have suffered a lot of injustice and suffering," he said.

"Huwaidi does not represent anyone, but only himself," said Sunni Arab representative Raini Sahouj.

Mosul residents added: "Shengal is a part of Mosul province, and we strongly denounce Turkish attacks."

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:06 pm
Author: Anthea
Yezidi official urges Baghdad to restore government to Shingal

Head of the Nineveh Provincial Council urged the Iraqi federal government on Thursday to restore state control to the Yezidi city of Shingal and prevent the efforts of what he called "illegal parties" to form local alternative administrations.

"In a move to complicate the already tense situation in Shingal, illegal parties which have no official status and control parts of Shingal have begun preparing for the formation of a local government and a local council in Shingal," Saydo Chato, a Yezidi and head of the Nineveh Provincial Council, told Rudaw.

Chato warned that except for the federal government no other administration will be recognized by the provincial council.

"We're the highest legislative and regulatory body in the province of Nineveh and will not recognize any illegal administration of Shingal." Chato said.

Since October 16, 2017 Shingal has been under Iraqi control. It was under ISIS control for more almost two years until it was retaken by a join Kurdish-coalition forces offensive.

Mayor of Shingal Mahma Khalil has told Rudaw that despite an agreement between Baghdad, Erbil and the Nineveh Provincial Council for the return of the Shingal administration, they are still prevented from returning.

The Yezidi head of the Nineveh Provincial Council said that no "illegal administration carved out Shingal" will receive any support.

He pressed the Iraqi government to take action otherwise "others may declare their own government in other areas of Nineveh and and even other part of Iraq."

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:28 am
Author: Anthea
Shocking story of a Yazidi girl:
Sold and raped in Baghdad

The Iraqi Observatory for Victims of Human Trafficking on Wednesday revealed the details of a Yazidi girl who was sold and raped in Baghdad after she was lured from the Kurdistan Region, north of Iraq

It all began when the 32-year-old victim fled to the Dohuk Governorate in the Kurdistan Region after Sinjar in Mosul fell under the ISIS’ grip.

In 2015, she participated in a protest organized in Irbil to demand freeing the Yazidis abducted by ISIS. She was arrested by security forces who later released later.

“After I was released, I went to a humanitarian organization that operates in Irbil that has a branch in Baghdad. The organization sent me to the capital in 2017 with a Yazidi driver to hold an interview with a foreign embassy to attain asylum,” she said in her account.

“After arriving in Baghdad, the driver took me to a residential apartment in a building in the center of the capital and claimed it was the branch of the aforementioned organization. However, I was surprised when I saw another Yazidi man who gave the driver a huge sum of money,” she added, noting that the money was her pricetag.

Severe abuse

At the time, all she could do was refuse to eat but the man who took her “severely beat her on her head and different areas of her body and tied her hands and feet.”

“On the third day, I had to eat because I was exhausted due to hunger. The man offered me a meal which I did not know contained a drug that made me lose consciousness. I was naked when I woke up and there were alcoholic beverages near me. I realized I was raped by four people, and this went on for three months,” she said.

“The rape and the severe abuse made me suffer from dangerous internal injuries so the man had to take me to the medical city and claimed he was my father, considering the age difference. I tried to tell the doctors and patients in the hall that I was a victim of human trafficking but no one believed me as the criminal who bought me had told them I was mentally disturbed.”

“In November 2017, a security force team came into the building after someone called them because they heard me scream and plead for help. They freed me and took my statement and arrested the perpetrators who had forged a contract claiming I was married to one of them,” she added.

According to her, the criminals were released a few months later for large sums of money and they escaped to an unknown destination while the case against them is pending till now. ... ghdad.html

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:40 am
Author: Anthea
Yazidi doctor brings former ISIS captives’ souls back

Having treated more than a thousand Yazidi women who escaped captivity, gynaecologist dedicates herself to helping them rebuild their shattered lives

Nestled at the end of her sofa in the soft light of a standard lamp, a lined notebook balanced on her knees, Nagham Nawzat Hasan often takes time at the end of the day to record the harrowing accounts she has heard from escaped Yazidi women who were abducted from their homes in northern Iraq and held captive by ISIS.

Since devoting her working life four years ago to helping these women recover from their ordeal, the 40-year-old gynaecologist has helped more than a thousand survivors, transcribing countless pages of horrors as part of a personal ritual that has become part testimony, part therapy.

“I have more than 200 stories written down. I feel like I have to record this for history,” Hasan explained. “I would get home and cry, thinking about all that I had heard. It affected me psychologically. I am also a Yazidi, and a woman. Writing their stories down helps me to relieve some of that trauma.”

The Yazidi community from Sinjar in northwestern Iraq, whose ancient religion has its roots in Sufism and Zoroastrianism, were targeted by the militant group in August 2014. Armed fighters separated men and boys older than 12 years from their families and killed those who refused to adopt their beliefs.

    “I would get home and cry, thinking about all that I had heard. It affected me psychologically.”
It is estimated that more than 6,000 Yazidi women and girls were kidnapped and sold as slaves, and held in captivity for months or even years. Many were subjected to imprisonment, torture and systematic rape, as part of a campaign of persecution that the UN has deemed a genocide and a crime against humanity. To this day, the fate of more than 1,400 Yazidi women remains unknown.

Hasan was working at a hospital in Baashiqa – a town 14 kilometres northeast of Mosul – when the area fell to the militants. As she and her family fled to Duhok, in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, they began to hear the reports of Yazidi men being massacred and women and children being abducted.

A few months later, Hasan became aware of two Yazidi women that had arrived in Duhok after fleeing their captors. In seeking them out, she unknowingly changed the course of her own life.

“When Yazidi women began escaping to Duhok, that’s when my work started,” Hasan said. “I saw immediately that they were destroyed. They had lost all trust in people, so I set out to rebuild that trust.”

“I approached women and encouraged them to seek help and treatment. I gave them my phone number and slowly built up trust. Before long, newly escaped women began calling me themselves.”

Her work was secretive at first as people struggled to come to terms with what had happened. As the scale of the atrocities committed against the captives became clear, religious and social leaders issued calls for the abducted women to be welcomed back into the community.

“The Yazidi community played a huge role. They were the first ones to receive these women back,” Hasan explained. “Acceptance by their families and support from the community was an important step, but they needed more.”

Her experience as a gynaecologist proved essential, but it soon became clear that the needs of the survivors went far beyond their physical treatment. “Medically, most of them suffered from pain. Many had sexually transmitted infections as a result of numerous rapes. But psychologically, the state of survivors was extremely bad.”

    “I did not have a magical treatment, but being a woman and a Yazidi, I saw most survivors trusted me.”
Building on the relationships she was able to forge, Hasan began to devote more and more of her time to visiting survivors in their homes, where they felt safest. Two years ago, she set up her own NGO called Hope Makers for Women, which provides medical and psychological support to female survivors living in camps set up to house displaced Yazidis.

On a dazzling early winter’s morning at a tented camp near Mosul Dam Lake, Hasan arrives on one of her regular visits and is greeted like family by a group of half a dozen smiling Yazidi women, who smother her in hugs and kisses. Later she visits one of her regular patients, a young woman who was held captive for nearly three years along with her three daughters.

“Life was very bad after we first escaped from ISIS, and in the beginning I couldn’t even go outside my tent,” the young mother explained. “She made herself fully available to us. She treated us and looked after us. The doctor helped me find a strength I didn’t know I had.”

Hasan points to the living conditions still endured by many survivors, which she says make it harder for them to recover from their ordeal. “To have escaped ISIS and then have to spend two or three years living in a tent in a camp, with no work – how can they truly recover in that situation?”

As well as providing ongoing humanitarian assistance to displaced Yazidis, UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency – has worked with partner organizations to establish uniform standards for counselling, to ensure that Yazidi women and girls all receive satisfactory care.

Hasan says international support for the Yazidi people must be maintained if they are to ever truly recover from the crimes committed against them. “International support for the Yazidis has decreased since the liberation of Mosul. Some, like UNHCR and UNFPA, are still offering assistance, but support overall is going down. I’m concerned that in future this support will disappear entirely.”

    “Each one of us fought ISIS as much as she could, but you fought them with the most powerful weapon the day you decided to treat us. This brought our souls back to life.”
She is calling on the international community to offer more resettlement places to Yazidi survivors who choose to make a fresh start elsewhere. Those that opt to stay in Iraq, meanwhile, require financial assistance to help re-establish their lives outside the camps, as well as training and job creation schemes to boost their economic prospects, she added.

For Hasan herself, the work of helping Yazidi survivors and others who have lived through similar experiences will continue. “This is now what I want to do with my life. I became a doctor to care for people and help those in need. I am still a doctor, but I’ve gone from working in a hospital to working as a humanitarian.”

Next to her notebooks filled with tales of suffering and pain lies another book that serves as a reminder to Hasan of the purpose behind the life she has chosen. One of the first survivors she worked with was the author and Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad, who six months ago sent Hasan a copy of her memoir.

A handwritten dedication inside reads: “To dearest Dr. Nagham. Each one of us fought ISIS as much as she could, but you fought them with the most powerful weapon the day you decided to treat us. This brought our souls back to life.” ... -life.html

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:02 am
Author: Anthea
On Her Shoulders review: the heartbreaking
life of Nadia Murad, survivor of genocide

This arresting documentary critiques the limits to western compassion as it follows the Iraqi activist and Isis rape survivor on her lonely human rights pilgrimage

Alexandria Bombach’s arresting documentary raises a significant question: has our compassion on international human rights become Malala-ised? Are the west’s media and political classes able to focus their concern only when they are gallantly scandalised by the ordeal of a young woman, such as Malala Yousafzai (shot by the Taliban in revenge for campaigning for women’s education) or Nadia Murad, the heroine of this film? If so, it is putting an intolerable strain on these women, being idolised and endlessly scrutinised and asked to be the redemptive symbols of our own well-intentioned compassion.

Murad is a remarkable young Iraqi woman from the Yazidi ethnic community who survived being kidnapped, beaten and repeatedly raped by Islamic State in the course of its genocidal slaughter in 2014, which wiped out much of Murad’s family. She has since become a dignified and eloquent human rights advocate, and this year was the joint winner of the Nobel peace prize.

The film shows her new life of campaigning, a kind of exiled vocational statelessness – in the UN in New York, in Canada, in Germany – making speeches, attending formal events and seminars, listening courteously to interpreters, suppressing tears and enduring unimaginably crass and clumsy questioning about her experiences from TV and radio hosts. She is accompanied and protected by Murad Ismael, the director of the Yazidi charity Yazda, who is himself often on the verge of tears, and at one stage says he cannot translate a certain question for her because it is too upsetting.

Nadia’s other great ally is Amal Clooney, who speaks passionately in the UN about bringing terrorists and criminals to justice. Nadia is shown always surrounded by crowds, almost crushed by them. But her utter loneliness is heartbreaking. ... amic-state

On Her Shoulders trailer

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:57 am
Author: Anthea
Yazidi leader Emir Tahseen Said Ali dies aged 85

Mantle passes to octogenarian's son, who now heads the community of some 1.5 million members

Click photo to enlarge

The emir of the Yazidis, a Middle Eastern religious community that was devastated by the Islamic State (ISIS) group in Iraq in 2015, has died in the German city of Hanover, aged 85.

Tahseen Said Ali was born in 1933 in Shekhan district, northwest Iraq. At age 11 he became the head of the world's Yazidis after the death of his father, Emir Said.

Emir Tahseen lived much of his life in Germany, home to more than 60,000 Yazidis - the most significant community outside the Middle East. He died there on Monday.

Most Yazidis are scattered between Iraq, Turkey, Armenia and Syria. The majority of the community's German population fled their homes in Turkey during the 1990s, fearing religious persecution.

Iraqi Yazidi MP Vian Dakhil told the AFP news agency that Emir Tahseen would be buried in Iraq's Kurdistan region.

Hazem, Emir Tahseen's son, was appointed to be the next head of the community, as is customary - the position is hereditary.

Of the world's 1.5 million Yazidis, around 550,000 once lived in the remote corners of northern Iraq, with the faith's most sacred temple located in the town of Lalish, where Emir Tahseen was born.

However, in summer 2015, an estimated 400,000 Yazidis fled their homes around Sinjar mountain, northwest of Baghdad, and more than 1,280 were killed as ISIS launched a bloody attack on the community, grabbing media attention.

ISIS fighters slaughtered Yazidi men and boys, then abducted women and girls to be abused as "sex slaves".

The United Nations has said ISIS's actions could amount to genocide, and is investigating the militant group's atrocities across Iraq.

In October, a Yazidi woman, Nadia Murad, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her campaign to end sexual violence as a weapon of war.

Murad was one of thousands of Yazidi women captured by ISIS before they were driven out of Sinjar and other parts of Iraq by Kurdish forces and the Iraqi military and militias, backed by US-led coalition forces.

It is unclear when the Yazidi faith emerged. Some allege that it began in Iran more than 4,000 years ago, before integrating elements of Islam and Christianity.

More likely Islam and Christianity copied parts of the Yazidi beliefs as they did when copying the pagan beliefs

With no holy book and organised into castes, Yazidis pray facing the sun and worship the seven angels of God. First and foremost among these is Melek Taus, or the Peacock Angel. ... n-said-ali

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:12 am
Author: Anthea
The longtime head of the world's Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority whose Iraqi community was ferociously targeted by the Islamic State group, has died in Germany after a long illness, officials said on Monday

Prince Tahseen Said Ali died in the KRH Siloah hospital in Hanover at the age of 85, according to the head of the Iraqi Kurdish region's head of Yazidi affairs, Khairi Buzani

Born in 1933 in Iraq's northwest Sheikhan district, he was appointed head of the Yazidis aged-11 after the death of his father, who was the previous emir.

He later moved to Germany, home of the biggest expatriate Yazidi community.

"He will be buried in the coming days in Iraqi Kurdistan," said Iraqi Yazidi parliamentarian Vian Dakhil.

Dakhil told AFP that before dying, Prince Tahseen had appointed his son, Hazem, to succeed him.

Iraqi officials, including Finance Minister Fuad Hussein and the Kurdistan region's prime minister Nechirvan Barzani, sent condolences to the prince's family on Monday.

The Yazidi faith emerged in Iran more than 4,000 years ago and is rooted in Zoroastrianism, over time integrating elements of Islam and Christianity.

With no holy book and organised into castes, Yazidis pray to God facing the sun and worship his seven angels - first and foremost Melek Taus, or Peacock Angel.

Of the world's 1.5 million Yazidis, around 550,000 were living in the remote corners of northern Iraq, where their holiest site Lalish lies and where Prince Tahseen was born.

In 2014, the Islamic State group rampaged across northern Iraq and seized the Yazidi bastion of Sinjar, near the border with Syria.

ISIS fighters slaughtered thousands of Yazidi men and boys, then abducted women and girls to be abused as "sex slaves".

The brutal assault pushed around 360,000 of the Kurdish-speaking Yazidis to flee to other parts of Iraq, including the Kurdish region, in addition to another 100,000 who left the country altogether.

The United Nations has said IS' actions could amount to genocide, and is investigating the jihadist group's atrocities across Iraq.

The Yazidi cause has found a powerful symbol in Nadia Murad, a former ISIS abductee from Sinjar who escaped and went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism against sexual violence.

Murad visited Iraq's Yazidi heartland of Sinjar last month, as well as Baghdad and the Kurdish regional capital of Erbil, to draw attention to the plight of thousands of abducted Yazidi girls who are still missing.

Last month, Murad told a crowd at her hometown of Sinjar, northern Iraq, that she will use the money awarded for the Nobel Prize to build a hospital for the victims of ISIS in the town.

IS captured large parts of northern Iraq and eastern Syria in 2014, during a lightning campaign that saw Iraqi troops flee south leaving civilians defenceless to face the militants.

ISIS kidnapped 7,000 Yazidi women and girls and held them as sex slaves during the campaign.

More than 3,000 Yazidi were murdered, mostly men and the elderly, in the days after ISIS took over areas around Sinjar, while children were forced into military conscription. ... in-germany

Approximately 3,000 women and children are still ISIS captives

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:30 am
Author: Anthea
Yezidi mother, 2 children freed from ISIS in Syria

A mother and her two children were rescued from ISIS in the group's last shrinking pocket in Syria and returned home to the Kurdistan Region on Wednesday

"The three persons were rescued from ISIS," Hassan Qaed confirmed to Rudaw. He heads up the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)’s office rescuing Yezidis.

In the month of January, 27 Yezidis were rescued from ISIS, he added.

His office has documented 6,417 Yezidis – mainly women and children – who were seized by ISIS when the group swept across northern Iraq in 2014.

More than 3,000 are still known to be missing

Backed by air strikes of the US-led global coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have the militants contained in a small pocket of territory near the Iraqi border. But commanders warn the final fight will be slow, given the number of women and children in the battle area.

And the risk of ISIS will not end with the death of the so-called territorial caliphate. The group still has thousands of fighters across Iraq and Syria and they have the potential to exploit existing societal rifts and security vacuums, US intelligence chief warned on Tuesday.

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:53 pm
Author: Anthea
Yazidi Boy Kidnapped by ISIS Talks about His Past

Rami Qaddor, an orphanage houseparent in a refugee camp near the Syrian-Turkish border, recalls the day in 2018 when a weak and frightened young boy named Hoger was dropped at the orphanage

At first, Hoger, 10, did not speak to anyone and was trying to establish trust with those around him, Qaddor said. But later, things changed.

"Every weekend when the other orphans' relatives came to visit the children, no one ever came for Hoger. So, I started taking him to my house so he could be with my wife and children," Qaddor told VOA.

Their bond grew stronger. Qaddor cared for Hoger as if he were one of his own children, and Hoger considered himself part of the family.

Qaddor said no one knew anything about Hoger, until he finally decided to talk about his past.

Yazidi boy

Qaddor discovered that Hoger was a Yazidi from Iraq's Sinjar Mountain, home to many members of the Yazidi religious minority.

Hoger, his mother and three siblings were abducted from Sinjar in 2014 when the Islamic State terror group attacked their village.

Hoger does not recall his full name. He said his father was killed that day by ISIS militants.

"Hoger came to us eight months ago in a difficult situation. He did not speak to anyone and kept to himself. Now, he is much better. He is playing with other kids, and he loves my wife so much that he calls her 'Mother,' " Qaddor said. "But he still regresses into a bad condition when he talks about what happened to him."

Qaddor said he did not want to tell anyone what the boy had told him because he wanted to protect him. He now recognizes the need for Hoger to find his family.

In August 2014, ISIS attacked the Yazidi-populated Sinjar Mountain, killing thousands of men and forcing thousands of women and girls into sex slavery. The United Nations estimates that at least 10,000 Yazidis out of 400,000 civilians in the area were killed or abducted during the attack.

About 3,000 Yazidi women and children are still missing, while thousands are living under harsh conditions in refugee camps in Iraq, according to several Yazidi rights groups

Trip to Idlib

Hoger, his mother and siblings were taken to Syria after his mother was sold as a sex slave. They lived in an ISIS-controlled camp in Al-Sukhnah town in central Syria. His older brother was taken to a training camp and later fought alongside ISIS.

Hoger said they were living with an IS leader called Abu Abdullah Al Maghrabi.

In 2016, the camp where Hoger and his mother were staying was hit by an airstrike, killing his mother and two younger siblings.

Left alone, a woman took Hoger as one of her children and fled the ISIS-controlled Al-Sukhnah to northern Idlib.

Hoger lived with the woman for several months before she dropped him off at the orphanage.

Al-Sukhnah was a major ISIS stronghold before it was captured by the Russian-backed Syrian government army in August 2017.

Harsh conditions

Qaddor and his family understand the plight of refugees because they were displaced in 2013 from the northern Hama countryside, a province in central Syria. They landed in a refugee camp in Atmeh in northern Syria near the border with Turkey.

Qaddor is unable to return home because the northern Hama countryside lies between rebel-held areas and the Syrian government territories, making it dangerous. Most of the people displaced from central Syria still live in Atmeh camp.

This year, the camp was battered by winter storms and floods that killed and injured several people, mostly children.

"Refugees here are already suffering from a dire situation in the camp with the absence of basic needs. And now, the rain, floods and snow added more suffering to their ordeal," Mohammed al-Abdullah, a Syrian journalist based in Atmeh, told VOA.

Qaddor is barely making ends meet in the camp and is depending on aid from regional NGOs and international organizations.

"I consider Hoger as one of my children," he said. "He is just an innocent child. He should have a better life."

Link to Article - Photos: ... 68080.html

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:34 pm
Author: Anthea
After surviving ISIS, Yazidi women ask to go home

Click to enlarge

Among thousands fleeing the crumbling dream of an Islamic State group "caliphate" in eastern Syria are alleged jihadists but also survivors of some of their worst atrocities

"I'll never forget," 40-year-old Bissa says softly, as she recounts being "bought and sold" by six different jihadists.

"We did everything they wanted to do with us. We couldn't say no," says the Iraqi woman from the Yazidi religious minority, after fleeing her ISIS captors.

Bissa was one of at least seven Yazidi women and girls to finally escape captivity last week, after years as "sex slaves" at the hands of the extremist group.

Speaking to AFP in territory held by US-backed forces, the women -- and at least one teenager abducted when she was 13 -- say they just want to go home.

"They would sleep with us against our will," Bissa tells AFP, wearing a dark red headscarf and appearing years beyond her age, her face and hands etched with lines.

More than 36,000 people have fled a crumbling ISIS holdout near the Iraqi border in recent weeks, among them 3,200 alleged jihadists.

But now in territory held by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), none perhaps have tales so harrowing as the Yazidi women.

In 2014, ISIS jihadists rampaged across swathes of Syria and neighbouring Iraq -- including the northern Iraqi region of Sinjar, home to a large Yazidi community.

The Kurdish-speaking Yazidis follow an ancient religion rooted in Zoroastrianism, but ISIS considers them to be "apostates".

In Sinjar, ISIS fighters killed the men, forcefully enlisted boys as soldiers and kidnapped more than 6,000 women.

- 'When I see my mum' -

After Bissa was captured, she was "bought and sold" by six different jihadists -- including three Saudis and a fighter who said he was Swedish.

She was repeatedly brutalised, but was too scared to escape.

"They said whoever tried... would be punished by a different man sleeping with her every day," she says inside an SDF centre near the Omar oil field.

But 17-year-old Nadine, who jihadists kidnapped from Sinjar when she was just 13, says she twice tried to escape.

Both times the jihadist group's police caught her.

"They flogged me with a hose. It left marks on my back, and I couldn't sleep on it," she says.

"The second time, they said I couldn't eat for two days," she added.

After they abducted Nadine, ISIS jihadists took her across the border to the group's then de facto Syrian capital of Raqa.

Over four years, she says, six different men bought her -- Saudis and a Tunisian.

She had to adapt to their brutal interpretation of religion, and adhere to their strict dress code of covering from head to toe in public.

"I love colour, and I used to wear trousers," Nadine tells AFP.

Inside the SDF centre, she wears a black-and-white bead bracelet around her wrist, bearing the name of her little brother in English.

But she can't bring herself to remove her black face veil.

"I got used to it. I can't yet take it off," she says. "But I will do so when I see my mum."

After escaping, Nadine says several cousins are still being held in an ISIS pocket in eastern Syria.

- 'Saved my children' -

At the height of its rule, ISIS controlled territory the size of Britain, but today it has lost all but the eastern patch to various offensives -- including by the SDF, backed by air strikes of the US-led coalition.

Between 2015 and 2018, at least 129 Yazidi women and girls were handed over to the Kurdish Women's Protection Units (YPJ), who are part of the SDF.

"We're definitely... fighting ISIS to free more captives -- and not just Yazidis," YPJ spokeswoman Nasreen Abdallah told AFP.

At the YPJ centre, Sabha, 30, waited with to take her 10-year-old daughter to hospital, after a kettle of boiling water fell on her legs.

Also a Yazidi woman, Sabha fled the last patch of ISIS territory with her six children, after the man she was forced to marry was killed in an air strike.

Five of her children are from a first husband killed by ISIS after they overran Sinjar.

But her 18-month-old girl was fathered by a Kurdish jihadist from the Iraqi region of Kirkuk, who said he spent 15 years of his life in Britain.

Sebha says the jihadist beat her and threatened to kill her children if she disobeyed.

"All I could think of was how to get out," says Sabha, wearing a green headscarf.

"I'd wish him dead so I could escape."

Today, Sabha looks forward to going home to her family, she says.

"But what makes me most happy is that I saved my children." ... sk-go-home

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:23 am
Author: Anthea
PM Barzani: Sinjar must be rebuilt
turned into province with a new administration

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Baghdad will together rebuild the predominantly Yezidi (Ezidi) town of Sinjar (Shingal) and promote its status to that of a province, with a local administration that reflects the unique makeup of the area, the Kurdistan Region’s Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, said on Monday.

Barzani’s comments came during a speech delivered at a ceremony at the Erbil International Airport (EIA), where local and foreign dignitaries were present to receive the body of the late Ezidi leader, Mir Tahseen Beg. Beg died on Jan. 28 at the age of 86 in Germany after suffering from a long-term illness.

The top Kurdish official stated that Ezidis should play a larger role in governing themselves and the “administration of their areas should reflect their unique situation,” suggesting Shingal should become a governorate of its own. “In the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad, we will take serious steps in this regard.”

Barzani mentioned he would be working with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and the international community to rebuild Shingal.

The emergence of the Islamic State and its violent assault on Shingal in 2014 led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Ezidis. Most of them fled to the Kurdistan Region, while others resettled in neighboring countries in the region or Western states.

Others were not as lucky and remained stranded in the war zone, where they experienced atrocities and mass executions at the hands of the extremist group for years. Militants subjected women and girls to sexual slavery, kidnapped children, forced religious conversions, executed scores of men, and abused, sold, and trafficked women across areas they controlled in Iraq and Syria.

“Da’esh committed barbaric crimes against the Ezidis,” Barzani continued. “Da’esh Kidnapped our Ezidi mothers and girls, selling them in markets [as slaves], and separated women from their children and husbands, crimes that had not been committed in the current century.”

Prior to the 2014 attack, there were roughly 550,000 Ezidis in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. As the jihadist group took over large swaths of territory in Nineveh Province, 360,000 Ezidis escaped and found refuge elsewhere, according to the KRG’s Ezidi Rescue Office.

So far, 69 mass graves which contain the remains of Ezidis have been excavated along with untold numbers of individual graves.

The Kurdish and Ezidi Peshmerga forces, with the support of the US-led coalition, liberated Shingal from the Islamic State in Nov. 2015, but the town remains a ghost-town, with little to no basic services available.

Shingal, one of the disputed territories between Erbil and Baghdad, is currently under the control of Iraqi forces and Shia militias. Iraqi forces, Shia militias, a limited amount of Kurdish fighters, and Peshmerga are present in Shingal and its outskirts, with tensions between them over who will control the strategic town, which lies near the Syrian border.

Barzani said that the KRG would put forward all its efforts to find and rescue the remaining missing Ezidis, stating the rescue office had so far liberated 3,342 Ezidis from the hands of the Islamic State. However, some 3,000 more have yet to be freed.

“Their rescue will be our [government’s] priority,” he added.