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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:38 pm
Author: Anthea
Fire burned three mass graves in Shengal

The fire that broke out in Shengal countryside and continued for two days, has also burned three mass graves

A fire with an unknown cause broke out in Siba Sheikh Xidir town of Shengal and could not be extinguished for two days. The fire burned not only three mass graves but also 100 hectares of field and orchard.

Speaking to Rojnews, a resident named Mirza Hesen said the following; “The bones of our relatives also burned in the fire. One of the three mass graves burned down in this fire was one of the biggest ones. Nobody has stood with us since the massacre. We urge human right organizations to come here and see for themselves. Yazidi people are deprived of their rights.”

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:19 am
Author: Anthea
Jewish experience of genocide
helps heal victims of ISIS

Israel is among the best places for victims of genocide to see how Jews have processed the trauma of the past, says Mirza Dinnayi, head of a German humanitarian organization that treats Iraqi children and terror victims. He is part of a group that came to Israel this month to support victims of the Yazidi genocide

The shuk in Jerusalem is always a bustling mosaic of people on a Friday. In late June, however, it hosted a group of Iraqis who had survived the depredations of Islamic State. It was a unique gathering, and the clanging of the shops and bustle of people helped distract the survivors from difficulties they have faced over the years.

Five years have passed since ISIS was at the height of its power in 2014, declaring its “caliphate” in Mosul in northern Iraq. Today, ISIS has been largely defeated, but its victims still hold the scars of trauma from 2014. Thousands of Yazidis, a minority group, were systematically murdered, and women and children sold into slavery. Although 3,000 remain missing, several thousand were able to escape or were freed from the hands of ISIS.

One of those is Lamiya Aji Bashar, who won the 2016 Sakharov Prize alongside Nadia Murad, another Yazidi victim. Aji Bashar was wounded in April 2016 while escaping and went to Germany to receive assistance. She came to Israel as part of a Bar-Ilan University and IsraAid initiative. The two-week workshop took place at the end of June and included a closing ceremony with Natan Sharansky. The university says that for four years, it has been conducting studies on PTSD and other issues facing Yazidi genocide survivors.

Dr. Yaakov Hoffman and Prof. Ari Zivotofsky from Bar-Ilan University said that they felt a moral obligation to study the effects of genocide and to share the know-how that exists in Israel. Dinnayi, who runs the German NGO Luftbrucke Irak, has helped more than 1,000 Yazidis who escaped ISIS and have gone to Germany for assistance.

On June 27, the group visited Yad Vashem. Aji Bashar said she felt that the Yazidi experience is linked to the images she saw at the Holocaust memorial. “They killed the men, and it is similar to what happened to us,” Bashar said.

The vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Edwin Shuker, who has a keen interest in Iraq where he was born, said that the Jewish mission of being a light unto the nations can be seen in the connections with Yazidis and other survivors of ISIS crimes.

“We must remember that we understand this is our core mission,” said Shuker. “When I see what these kids went through and see them here and watch their faces smiling, you know we have done our mission.” Shuker was one of several people who came to the shuk with the Yazidis and Christians as they prepared to tour the Old City of Jerusalem.

For Dinnayi, the most important thing is that Iraq needs experienced professionals in trauma and psycho-therapy. “We began this initiative to help those who can help and create sustainability,” he says, adding that “I hope we can do a follow-up, and bring peace and solidarity for survivors of genocide.”

Frishta Kewe, a researcher in genocide, also accompanied the group. Born in Sulimaniyeh in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region, she moved to Europe and then returned to Iraq. She said that the visit to Yad Vashem was especially impactful for the group.

Kewe is an expert on the genocide carried out against Kurds in the 1980s by the regime of Saddam Hussein, including the Halabja poison gas attacks. “This is so much to learn, and I hope to write about it and show the resilience and commitment that people here [in Israel] took care [regarding] their history,” Kewe said.

But it is an uphill struggle. Lisa Miara, president and founder of the Springs of Hope Foundation, which has worked in a Yazidi IDP camp for years, says that the visit can help those who work with youth back in the Yazidi camps. Even though ISIS was defeated in Iraq in 2017, many hundreds of thousands of Yazidis remain in displaced persons camps because they fear returning to Sinjar where the genocide took place.

There are many hurdles for the community, not only in terms of security and the required investment in their former villages that were destroyed by ISIS, but also in helping women who survived sexual assault and had children while under ISIS captivity. This sensitive subject has caused controversy, as some women faced challenges returning to their communities. Some of the children were also brainwashed by ISIS.

Miara says that she has seen 200 kids who were once held by ISIS and that some of them were even child soldiers, forced to fight by the extremists. “No one in Iraq has experience with child soldiers,” she says, in terms of psychological support for the kids. These are uncharted waters. Some 30 kids and 10 women were rescued in battles near Baghouz earlier this year, but it’s difficult to confront the way ISIS sought to program them to be extremists.

HOW DID a unique group of survivors from ISIS end up in Israel in the first place?

“I went to Kurdistan to do research on disappearing Jewish communities,” says Zivotofsky. Hoffman, who was studying PTSD, asked him if he could help bring a questionnaire to Yazidi survivors.

“We decided to help them. And as people who know what it is like to be without a home and at the whim of evil, like ISIS was for them – and let them know that people are here to help them – they view us as a role model,” Zivotofsky said. “There must be follow up if we bring them here – if we want the therapy they learned to be effective – so we hope to do that and have visits, and we are planning on this. Bar-Ilan is planning follow up.”

The group also learned about what Jewish child survivors faced after 1945, and heard a lecture from Dr. Sharon Shalom, an Ethiopian Israeli who also survived the difficulties Ethiopian Jews underwent leaving Ethiopia in the 1980s. The Yazidis and Christians were inspired by his lecture, asking for selfies and seeing in his message of hope, a message they could take home.

It wasn’t an easy trip to get to Israel. Some of the participants’ names could not be mentioned, and the process and bureaucracy to come was complex. But they surmounted the hurdles. But the real hurdle remains in the future.

“We haven’t received enough support from the international community,” says Aji Bashar. “But it has been an amazing experience.” ... SIS-594271

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:37 am
Author: Anthea
Music and art help Yazidi genocide survivors to heal

In an art therapy session for Yazidi survivors, a girl drew a portrait of her friend who committed suicide to avoid rape while under Da’esh (the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS) captivity. Another one drew a butterfly because her biggest wish, she explained, was to be able to fly away

These girls are amongst the more than 6,000 Yazidis who were kidnapped from Sinjar, in northern Iraq, in August 2014. They were enslaved and transported to Da’esh prisons and homes across Iraq and Syria. Women and girls, some as young as eight, were systematically raped, beaten, burned and tortured. Brutalised by Da’esh fighters and supporters, they were treated as goods to be sold and traded, used and abused.

On 23 March 2019, Kurdish-led forces announced the defeat of Da’esh, but the extremist group’s atrocities continue to haunt the Yazidi minority displaced in Iraqi Kurdistan. Five years after the group’s onslaught, described by the United Nations as “genocide”, Yazidi survivors are still suffering from severe trauma.

“In September 2014 we heard about three Yazidi women who came back from Da’esh captivity and committed suicide,” says psychiatrist Bayan Rasul, the co-founder of the Emma Organization, a non-profit combating gender-based violence in Iraqi Kurdistan.

    As Yazidi women started fleeing their captors and arriving in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Rasul focused all her efforts on their plight. With Emma’s co-founder Bahar Ali, she started advocating amongst governmental and religious authorities for Yazidi women to be protected, and to provide them with psychosocial support and trauma therapy.
“At that time no one had a plan to respond to the trauma. All the support was focused on relief, which was necessary, but there were no mental health programmes in Iraq. There was no psychosocial support and very few psychotherapists,” says Rasul, who specialised in treating trauma.

With mental healthcare needs far outstripping resources in Iraqi Kurdistan, organisations like Emma and the Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights have tried to fill in the gap.

Freedom tarnished by displacement and trauma

On 3 August 2014, Da’esh militants invaded the town of Sinjar, the homeland of the Yazidi minority in northern Iraq. They declared Yazidis, a Kurdish-speaking religious group, to be ‘infidels’ and ‘devil worshippers’, targeting them for murder, rape and enslavement.

More than 5,000 Yazidis, mostly men and older women, were killed and buried in mass graves in Sinjar. Young women and children were kidnapped and enslaved. Yazidi homes were looted and were temples destroyed in what has been recognised as a systematic, premeditated attempt to destroy the Yazidis of Sinjar.

Hundreds of thousands fled Sinjar and the wider region and found themselves dispersed between Syria and Iraq in August 2014. Tens of thousands of Yazidis now live in displacement camps in Iraqi Kurdistan. For those who managed to flee Da’esh captivity, freedom was tarnished by displacement and trauma.

“Now they are free they face a multitude of problems,” says Rasul. “Their houses have been destroyed, their loved ones killed, families have been scattered. They stay in refugee camps for years and there is very little the government is doing to help them return to their homes.”

    The destruction of their homes, lack of security and tensions between the Iraqi federal government and the Kurdish regional government in Sinjar have prevented most Yazidis from returning to the region.
Persecuted for centuries by rulers who saw them as ‘infidels’, Yazidis sought refuge in mountainous regions in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Before 2014, Yazidis counted 73 genocides, and stories of persecution were passed on orally from generation to generation. Long before the word genocide started to be known around the world, Yazidis already used the Ottoman Turkish word firman to describe attempts to wipe them out.

Numbering less than one million worldwide, Yazidis have been persecuted for centuries for their syncretic religious views, which incorporate elements of Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam. Yazidis believe in one god and worship seven angels. The Yazidism religion is spread orally and religious practice involves visiting sacred places.

Stories of killings, forced conversions and violence against the community have been passed across generations. Many Yazidis grew up carrying the burdens of historical trauma and the underlying threat of firman, which became an important part of their identity.

Collective grief, collective healing

Horrified by the crimes committed against Yazidi women, Rasul developed psychotherapy programmes to help heal individual trauma. But she soon realised that the events of August 2014 inflicted a deep, collective trauma that couldn’t be solved individually.

“The trauma was collective, so we needed collective measures to address it,” she says. “We started by asking the Ministry of Interior to protect the women and give them the status of victims of war. Then we tried to provide them with a safe space to reconnect with their faith, get some rest and calm down. We advised the Yazidi Higher Spiritual Commission to welcome the women back in Lalish.”

Lalish is the holiest place in the world for Yazidis, and they are expected to make a pilgrimage there at least once in their lives. The village is considered so sacred that visitors enter its complex of temples barefoot.

The Emma Organization worked with Yazidi activists to welcome survivors in Lalish. They prepared collective ceremonies to make survivors feel less isolated, the first step to help them reintegrate into society and begin to heal.

“We made white clothes for the women. Yazidi identity was in crisis, so the colour white is important to affirm their identity,” says Rasul. Yazidi women were given white headscarves and traditional clothes which represented purity and cleansing. The symbolic reintegration ceremonies were a response to the collective trauma, and a way to connect survivors so they could support each other.

“Collective grieving ceremonies are very important. Yazidis staying in refugee camps had no space to mourn their losses. So taking them out of the camps and hosting collective mourning sessions became very important. After the sessions I saw how they were much more hopeful,” says Rasul.

The power of art and music

Faced with the challenges of healing severe trauma and a lack of resources, therapists in Iraqi Kurdistan have begun experimenting with alternative therapies for their Yazidi patients. A programme called From Victims to Victors, an initiative of Emma Organization, is encouraging Yazidis to work on their trauma through art and music.

Holding dafs, traditional Kurdish drums, or clapping their hands enthusiastically, a group of girls sing Yazidi songs at Emma Organization’s community centre in Sharia, near the city of Dohuk.

The nearby Sharia refugee camp hosts close to 20,000 displaced people, many of them Yazidis who fled Sinjar after Da’esh’s invasion in 2014. “We heard there was a group singing Kurdish and Yazidi songs so we really wanted to join because we love music,” says 18-year-old Kathrine from Sinjar. “I want to help my community by spreading Yazidi culture.”

The girls’ music group meets every week to practice the songs and to learn how to play the Kurdish drums. The centre offers music programmes, but also literacy, handicrafts, pottery and cooking classes.

    “Art and music programmes are important because they help the girls forget their problems and the trauma they experienced,” says programme coordinator Bahdinan Aassan. “Our goal is to bring the Yazidi community together so they can share experiences and emotions,” adds Aassan.
Songs of lamentation have been traditionally sung by Yazidis as a way to mourn their losses. Oral traditions are very important for Yazidis, whose songs and stories recount the trauma experienced over generations. “Music can be very therapeutic. Drumming is great to let out emotions”, says psychotherapist Rasul. “The hand drum helps survivors release anger.” The art sessions also help survivors express themselves, especially when faced with the difficulty of verbalising traumatic experiences.

“Most of them can’t read or write, so drawing is a great way to allow them to express themselves,” adds Rasul. Vocational training, literacy classes and art and music programmes keep survivors occupied and aim at encouraging them to be hopeful about their future.

“We try to talk about the future and to focus on stories of strength and success,” says human rights lawyer and Yazidi activist Hussam Abdullah. Nadia Murad, the Yazidi survivor who became a human rights activist and the 2018 Nobel Peace prize winner, is seen as an inspiration to most Yazidis.

“Her strength and power inspire many survivors who see her travelling around the world to talk about the Yazidi tragedy,” he adds.

While singing traditional songs and clapping their hands, members of the music group tell the world Yazidis have survived attempts to wipe them out. Beating their drums with their heads held high, the girls show that, like Nadia Murad, they will not be erased nor silenced. They will continue to sing and tell their stories. ... i-genocide

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:17 pm
Author: Anthea
Yazidi religious representatives
visit YBŞ/YJŞ in Shengal

A delegation of Yazidi religious leaders and representatives visited the YBŞ (Shengal Resistance Units) and YJŞ (Shengal Women’s Units) in Shengal

The delegation held the visit to thank the forces for their support for the renewal of destroyed cemeteries and martyrs’ cemeteries.

YBŞ and YJŞ Commanders Mazlum Shengali and Zerdest Shengali received the delegation and the efforts for the renewal of the damaged sacred sites were discussed in the meeting.

Mazlum Sengali thanked the delegation and said, “This visit by religious leaders has made us very happy. ISIS gangs deliberately attacked our sacred sites because they are the history, intelligence, culture, morality and truth of society. The gangs wanted to destroy our physical presence as well as our culture, faith and reality. YBS and YJS, as the defenders of Ezidxan (Yazidi land), will do everything possible to serve the people and rebuild the sacred sites.”

The delegation said they are ready to support the fighters of Ezidxan and visited the Shex Mehmed Dome, which was destroyed by ISIS gangs.

Mam Faxira spoke in the name of the delegation and said, “We thank the fighters who defended our sacred lands. Our Yazidi citizens who migrated can return back to their lands. We will rebuild Shengal again.”

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:17 pm
Author: Anthea
Turkish municipality erases sacred
Yazidi peacock symbol from logo

A local authority in Turkey has sparked outrage after removing a Yazidi religious symbol from its logo

The Yazidis, a small minority ethno religious community in the Middle East, have long been persecuted in the region as "devil worshippers".

Yazidis speak of having survived 74 genocides throughout the history of their community, the most recent of which being the killing of around 6,000 Yazidis, the forced conversion of thousands more and the abduction of hundreds of women and girls into sexual slavery by the Islamic State group.

The former logo of the municipality of Midyat, a multicultural town in Turkey's Kurdish-majority southeast, contained symbols from the area's three prevailing religions - a church steeple, a mosque minaret and a peacock, symbolising the Yazidi faith.

But it has now been changed to omit the sacred peacock symbol, local media reported.

Melek Taus, often translated into English as the Peacock Angel, is one of the central sacred figures of the Yazidi religion.

In the Yazidi tradition, God created the world and entrusted its care to seven holy figures. The most sacred of these figures is the Peacock Angel, who was said to have been created from God's own "illumination".

The perception by some Muslims of Yazidis as "devil worshippers" originates from the similarities between the story of the Peacock Angel and Iblis in the Quran. Many Yazidis, however, have said the Peacock Angel is more akin to the figure of Gabriel.
Midyat Municipality's former logo [Midyat Municipality]

The municipality council of Midyat, controlled by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), voted to change the logo this week.

The formerly colourful logo was altered to a black and gold silhouette image featuring a steeple, a dome and minaret, as well as two birds and a star.

Midyat, located in Turkey's southeastern Mardin province, is a historically multicultural city.

Until the 1915 Assyrian genocide, Midyat was a majority-Assyrian area. However, the town still maintains a mixed population of Kurds, Turks, Mhallami Arabs, Yazidis and Assyrians.

Turkey's Yazidi population is extremely small, with only around 5,000 Yazidis remaining in the country due to migration motivated by the civil war.

Midyat Municipality's new logo [Midyat Muncipality]

"This lifestyle has been going on for thousands of years. To date, there has been no problem between these peoples except for the interventions of the central authority. The Syriacs were forced to migrate due to these external interventions, then the Yazidis faced the same situation," he described.

"Assyrians and Yazidis faced extinction in Midyat. Today we are experiencing the same thing again."

The MP urged the municipality to respect the area's multicultural, multilingual heritage.

But AKP Midyat Mayor Veysi Sahin claimed the new logo still represented the area's three prevailing "civilisations" - Islam, Christiany and Yazidism.

The domed building at the center of the logo is meant to represent a Yazidi temple, the mayor explained. Many Yazidi temples, however, have cone-shaped roofs.

The doves symbolise "love and respect", Sahin added. ... ality-logo

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:31 pm
Author: Anthea
Removing landmines in Sinjar

At least 3.2 million Iraqis were displaced during the period of ISIS occupation and the resulting years of war. The governorate of Ninewa in northern Iraq, home to major towns such as Mosul and Sinjar, saw some of the worst of the fighting and by the end of 2017 almost 1.9 million people had fled the region

The Yazidi religious minority remains among the worst affected. An estimated 300,000 people from the Yazidi population in the area fled their homes in an attempt to escape the atrocities carried out by ISIS, including mass killings, abductions and the complete destruction of cities and villages. Since Isis was driven out of the area the number of returnees has steadily increased, but as of June 2019 more than a million people from the Ninewa region remain internally displaced.

One of the main reasons people are unable to return home is due to the threat of unexploded landmines and other explosive hazard contamination, which still makes much of the northern region uninhabitable. Since 2017 UK-based NGO the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) has been working in Iraq to clear the land. So far it has removed 1,511 explosive items, of which 1,318 were improvised landmines.

Sean Sutton, a photojournalist for MAG, has just returned from Sinjar, where he documented the work being done to make the land habitable and the stories of the people who have returned.

On these fields in Sinjar, where former military positions still run along the hilltops, Sean and the MAG team met a local man, Ismail Vasho Khudoda, who was concerned that his children and local shepherds had found explosive items on the hillside. MAG has done a lot of work in the area, clearing the ground around Ismail’s home as well as a large stretch of land between the house and a nearby school.

So far, 20 families have returned to this part of Solagh village, which lies east of Sinjar city. But the scale of the destruction means others can’t do the same. The owner of this house is still living in the city because his family doesn’t have the means to rebuild. There are fears that there might be landmines in the rubble.

On August 3, 2014, some 50,000 Yazidis fled to Mount Sinjar to escape Isis massacres. Thousands of people still live in temporary shelters on the mountain.

‘There were more than 5,000 families living in Til Azer before ISIS came,’ Drwesh told Sutton. ‘Most people were farmers growing a variety of crops. In winter, we would grow vegetables in green houses. In summer we grow grain such as barley and wheat. Honey was also an important product.

We reared cattle, sheep and goats and sold our produce to Mosul, Tel Afar and Kurdistan – there was a lot of trade. If there were no landmines we would be able to go home and rebuild. That is what we want more than anything. 270 families from Til Azer are living on the mountain in bad conditions. Many more are in villages north of the mountain but most are in camps in Kurdistan.’

The people of Sahia village found themselves on the front-line when Isis came and set up positions in and around their community. They fled to distant hills, living in makeshift shelters behind Isis lines. Most, if not all buildings in the village are now destroyed. Since Isis was forced out of the area there have been lots of landmine accidents in and around the village as people have tried to return home to farm and rebuild.

So far nine people have died and 15 have been injured – many of them losing limbs in landmine blasts. Here, the son of the village Mukhtar, Salah Yassin, stands next to a collapsed house adorned with washing lines. The house had IEDs in it. MAG removed one that was accessible but needs to bring in plant machinery to access the others.

MAG uses a range of methods to detect and destroy landmines, cluster bombs and other unexploded weapons, including manual deminers, machinery and mine detection dogs. The dogs are trained to sniff out explosives and alert their handler.

Improvised landmines such as these can contain several kilos of explosives. Injuries are often deadly and can result in multiple amputations for those who survive.

The teams working to clear landmines are made up of staff from many different backgrounds including Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds. These six women are part of a team of 14, working to clear mines in Al Ayadiya.

Hayam and Hishyar, who come from the villages now being cleared of mines, provide education for other families in the Domiz IDP refugee camp.

MAG’s Home Safe Home appeal to remove landmines and unexploded bombs from across Lebanon draws to an end on 4 July 2019. All donations received before that date will be doubled by the UK government, making hundreds of homes safe again in Lebanon and beyond. Find out more here: ... -in-sinjar

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:21 am
Author: Anthea
We want to take part to the trial against ISIS

Heza Shengal told ANF about her experiences and the point reached. She recalled that during the massacre in Shengal in 2014, Yazidi women were kidnapped by ISIS mercenaries

"ISIS kidnapped 25 people from my family. First they threw are in jail in Iraq and after they brought us to Syria. Women, children and old people were thrown in prison. After a certain time, the mothers were separated from us and the remaining young women began to be sold to mercenaries."

Shengal continued: "Someone took me as a maid. We were serving them like slaves. Then they gathered all the Yazidi women in one place. They made it the market of Yazidi women and their daughters. ISIS persecuted us, beat us, tortured us. They did all kinds of evil with all kind of weapons. Yazidi children and women were all tortured there. The children were taken away from their mother, Raqqa was their capital, tere we were bought and sold. After thousands of Yazidi women were sold in Daim Square, hundreds of them were tortured, bought and sold, and many committed suicide. "

Heza Shengal said that one of the women who tried to committ suicide to put an end to ISIS persecution, was herself. "I have tried to committed suicide three times. Once we tried to committ suicide, they were selling us again and in any case violence would not stop."

Shengal said that finally she could trust herself and with the help of a family managed to escape and was freed by the YPJ-YJŞ.

"After my liberation, I went to Shengal. But it was the idea and philosophy of Önder Apo that supported us in this last genocide."

Heza Shengal went to Raqqa to fight and she joined the YJŞ. "For the Yazidi women the YJŞ became a great hope. It was the voice and answer of all Yazidi women who were bought and sold and subjected to persecution. When I joined the YJŞ it was not just for myself, but to avenge the thousands of Yazidi women who had been massacred, so I went to Raqqa and joined the YJŞ."

Shengal said: "I fought in Raqqa, the same place where we were sold and bought. I would like to point out that as a Yazidi woman who has been subjected to such cruelty and torture, I took my revenge as a young person when I joined YJŞ. But we want ISIS mercenaries to be tried in the lands where they were actually defeated. We want the international court on ISIS to be established here. And we, as Yazidi women, want to take part to the trial."

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:03 pm
Author: Anthea
As Sinjar burns so does the future of the Yazidis

Sitting outside a refugee camp in northern Greece, the woman across from me – a member of the Yazidi faith – wrestles with her English homework. As a survivor of an ongoing genocide, her thoughts remain with what is left of her family, torn apart by ISIS

Three years on, as fires rage across Sinjar, many other Yazidis will now be wondering what remains of their scorched homeland, a myriad of villages dotted around the Sinjar mountain range of northern Iraq, home to the worst atrocities committed by the jihadist group during its bloody reign.

Labeled as “devil-worshipers” by ISIS and other extremist groups, the Yazidi community was attacked in August 2014, mere months after the conquest of Mosul. Thousands were shot to death, left to starve in the summer heat and sold as sexual slaves at markets across the caliphate.

To this day, thousands of women and children remain in the hands of terrorists who deem their rape and purchase as permissible under Islamic law. While survivors of ISIS enslavement have sought safety in Europe, North America and Australia, the majority of Yazidis remain in refugee camps in Iraqi Kurdistan. A small number have returned to Sinjar, where they face extreme poverty and a lack of resources.

There is nothing left,” said Baderkhan Kassim, an NGO worker from the village of Tel Banat. He had been waiting eagerly for six months to harvest crops before they were destroyed last week, in a spate of fires affecting dozens of villages.

Speaking from Sinjar, Kassim warned of the devastating consequences the blazes will have on the local community, many of whom rely solely on the harvests to survive. “It is so hard to find a job. I have applied to over 200 and received no response. Without the crops, people will starve.”

Yazidi spiritual life is inextricably tied to the land of Sinjar, a land on which they have built their temples for thousands of years. While their holiest site, in Iraqi Kurdistan, was spared destruction, growing numbers of Yazidis have left the Kurdish camps to return to their hometowns and villages, showing the enemy that they will not be driven out of Iraq.

The recent fires, however, are threatening to do just that – and no one is coming to their rescue. Governments have shed their moral compasses and forgotten the treaties they signed promising to end the horror of genocide. Many recognize the horrors against the Yazidis as genocide, yet refuse to halt the persecution of its survivors.

“Yazidis will never be able to return if this continues; we will have to leave Iraq,” said Kassim.

Leaving Iraq, however, is not an option afforded to most survivors. Many fled without documents, and acquiring passports – and a successful asylum claim – is a lengthy process without a guarantee of success.

“Returning to Sinjar without protection or justice was one of the biggest mistakes we have made,” said Sarhad Khero. “Going back without guarantees for our safety is as if nothing ever happened.” Hailing from the village of Zaituny, Khero sought safety close to the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, where he now works as a translator for other refugees. He says the fires and instability in Sinjar distracts him from doing his work.

The source of the fires remains under investigation, but many suspect foul play and extremist activity. Mass graves surrounding Hardan and Kocho – the village of Nadia Murad – were not spared from the fire, destroying incriminating evidence against ISIS fighters, now guilty of genocide. As Sinjar burns, hope for justice grows weaker and weaker.

Whatever the causes of the blazes, one thing is clear: the Yazidis have no security in Sinjar. Denying safety to Yazidis – and telling them to return home – is to hand them a death sentence. ... dis-595275

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:12 pm
Author: Anthea
The annihilation of the Yazidi is
continuing, but we say nothing

A coalition of countries led by the United States, including Canada, has been fighting a war in Iraq and Syria for the past few years. We are supposedly fighting for and with our allies — the government of Iraq and the semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional government of northern Iraq (which has its own army called the Pesh Merga) — toward the common goal of the military defeat of ISIS

ISIS no longer formally holds any territory in Iraq or Syria, but like the defeated Confederate forces who formed the Ku Klux Klan after the American Civil War, they are waging a war of terror against the people they formerly slaughtered and enslaved, namely the Yazidi people of northern Iraq, an indigenous monotheistic group who have been the near-exclusive target of the ISIS jihad since their invasion of northern Iraq (Mesopotamia) in the summer of 2014.

In early June, “defeated” fighters of ISIS, so many of whom have found safe haven in UNHCR refugee camps and across the countryside of Iraq and Syria, began a campaign to burn Yazidi farms so that the few remaining Yazidi still living in their homeland in northern Iraq will have nothing to eat.

Yazidi report that Arab terrorists have singled out Yazidi farms for destruction by fire. Today 90 per cent of the wheat and barley farms still under Yazidi cultivation in northern Iraq have been destroyed. The militia of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) have been unable to stop these terrorist attacks, nor have they pursued and arrested their perpetrators.

When ISIS invaded the Yazidi homeland of northern Iraq in 2014, the KRG also did nothing. Its Pesh Merga deserted en masse, in what in retrospect looks like a well-co-ordinated retreat from their promise to defend the Yazidi whom they had recently disarmed. To make matters worse, Yazidi report that former Arabic-speaking members of ISIS in Iraq have recently joined the KRG as an armed fighting group under their authority.

Yazidi lament that the KRG has consistently siphoned off much of the international aid that was earmarked to support Yazidi refugees. The coalition forces, our forces, will have to act independently to help the Yazidi when they find the political will to do so.

Meanwhile, since 2017, the World Food Program (WFP) has been run by an American, David Beasley, a former governor of South Carolina. The WFP has not yet commenced a massive food relief program for the Yazidi. Beasley should begin that effort now.

Kheiro Khalfi, expresses, his anguish at delays in recapturing Yazidi areas from ISIS on Nov. 2, 2015. “We want to free our kidnapped relatives, but no one is helping us,” he said from his tent on Sinjar Mountain. Romina Penate / NPOth

There have also been recent fires at IDP refugee camps in Duhok, within Kurdistan, that have targeted Yazidi families, leaving many homeless and with no possessions. The KRG could not prevent these attacks, nor has it gone after the perpetrators within this territory, which it claims to exclusively control.

When the Pesh Merga of the Kurdish Regional Government deserted Yazidi land during the summer of 2014, a different Kurdish group that is at odds with the KRG entered Yazidi land. These are the PKK, the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, a Marxist-inspired national liberation group that for decades has been fighting a guerrilla war against the Turkish state from the Syrian border, and from within the borders of eastern Turkey. Their goal is the establishment of an independent or at least autonomous Kurdistan within Turkey.

During the past six months the Turks have carried out air attacks in northern Iraq against the PKK, who are dug in, in tunnelled redoubts across Yazidi land. When the Turkish fighter jets arrive, they kill the Yazidi on the ground while the PKK fighters find protection in their newly tunnelled mountain hideouts. These are off-limits to the local Yazidi.

NATO countries, including Canada and the United States, hold the PKK to be a terrorist group, yet at the same time they do not challenge Turkey’s clandestine support of Islamic terrorists in the Middle East, like Hamas and Hezbollah, who regularly attack Israel, turning a blind eye to the fact that Turkey is a NATO state and our supposed ally.

Three young Yazidi women were threatened by their Muslim neighbours and feared that they would be kidnapped and their organs sold to criminals in Turkey, where they would die from the operations

The rape and enslavement of Yazidi women by the “former” forces of ISIS continues privately. There are still 3,000 Yazidi women missing and many are held in captivity by ISIS families in Syria, Iraq and Turkey. Celebrity lawyers like Amal Clooney are doing their best to keep this in the news.

Yazidi girls and boys have been trafficked and sold to slave traders in Turkey, who then harvest their organs for illegal transplants to sick patients. The children do not usually survive the operations. The perpetrators include “former” members of ISIL in hoc with criminal gangs in Turkey, whom the state does little or nothing to apprehend.

Recently, three young Yazidi women escaped from a UNHCR camp in Syria. They managed to get back to northern Iraq and told their Yazidi relatives there that in the camps they were threatened by their Muslim neighbours and feared that they would be kidnapped and their organs sold to criminals in Turkey, where they would die from the operations.

The Yazidi in the newly created UN refugee camps in Syria are terrified to identify themselves as Yazidi to the UN authorities for two reasons. The first is that most of their neighbours are former ISIS supporters and fighters. The second is that the local staff of most of these UN camps are drawn from the wider population of Syria and Iraq’s Muslim majorities, either Kurdish or Arabic speakers, who have a disdain for the Yazidi that is similar to the Confederate hatred of African-Americans.

Last March, Yazidi community leaders met with senior representatives of the State Department in Washington, urging them to go with them to the refugee camps of Syria and the IDP camps of Iraq as Yazidi are able to successfully identify other Yazidi who must hide behind a faux Islamic identity that they have adopted to protect themselves from persecution. Yazidi desperately need their own refugee camps for their own protection, but the coalition forces do not advocate this simple and obvious humanitarian intervention. The State Department has not responded.

It is our moral responsibility to do so, while determining what more we can do to stop this ongoing annihilation of the Yazidi

Canada is at war in Syria and Iraq. We have boots on the ground there and earmarked just under $400 million for our military to fight there during the past two years. The Canadian government, our government, continues to give the state of Iraq millions of dollars of development assistance each year. In light of their systematic mistreatment of the Yazidi, we must ask why?

The Yazidi are the indigenous people of northern Iraq who were there centuries before the rise of Islam in Mesopotamia, what the modern Arabs call Iraq. Why should we not demand of the Iraqi Kurds and Arabs that they make amends to the Yazidi in the same way that Canadians are trying to make amends to this land’s Indigenous people? As Canadians it is our moral responsibility to do so, while determining what more we can do to stop this ongoing annihilation of the Yazidi. There is an election coming up soon in this country and we must ask our leaders this question, in public and loudly.

Geoffrey Clarfield is an anthropologist-at-large ... ay-nothing

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:15 am
Author: Anthea
Billions of dollars have been sent to help the Yazidi's

Not a cent appears to have been received, where are all these billions going?

Our Yazidi friends URGENTLY need our help - YOUR help

In fact they have needed our help for the past 5 years but help has been sadly lacking

The coalition was only capable to dropping extremely expensive bombs

Now that there is no need for bombs to remove ISIS, the coalition countries refuse to pay even a tiny amount to help protect and rebuild Yazidi homes, land, business and infrastructure

Why is it that the coalition countries are more than happy to spend a fortune on blowing things up and nothing on protecting and rebuilding

Yazidis need well built homes, hospitals, schools, jobs and their 3,000 missing friends and relations returned


We need companies with good track records to move in and work with the Yazidis :ymhug:

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:36 am
Author: Anthea
Five years since Daesh took over their lives
and homes Yazidi women try to move on

Khanke Displacement Camp, Iraq: On the floor of her stuffy, dimly-lit tent in Iraq, Yazidi survivor Layleh Shemmo nimbly tugs floral pink fabric through her sewing machine, stitching together a living for her broken family

Working in the Khanke displacement camp in the country's northwest, Shemmo glances down at the name tattooed on her left hand: Kero, her husband, still missing five years after the Daesh group rampaged across the Sinjar region.

At the time, Daesh killed Yazidi men en masse, took boys as child soldiers and sold women as "sex slaves", with survivors streaming into ramshackle displacement camps.

They remain unable to return to Sinjar, where Daesh destroyed the fields and farming infrastructure that were the backbone of the ethno-religious minority's livelihoods.

Who are the Yazidi:

    The Yazidi faith emerged in Iran more than 4,000 years ago and is a "closed" faith, meaning one cannot convert to it.
    Adherents believe in one God to whom they pray by facing the sun.
    They also worship seven angels - especially Melek Taus, the Peacock Angel.
    In their traditional homeland Sinjar, this Kurdish-speaking sect relied mainly on farming to get by.

    Their holiest site is Lalish, a serene stone complex of shrines and natural springs in Iraq's mountainous northwest where visitors must walk barefoot.
    The faith is led by a five-member High Spiritual Council based in nearby Sheikhan, which includes both the worldwide "prince" of Yazidis and Baba Sheikh, their religious chief.

    Yazidis are organised into three castes - sheikhs, pirs, and murids - and cannot wed across them or outside the sect. Children are Yazidi only if both their parents are.
    Over time, the faith has integrated elements from other religions: children are baptised in holy water like Christians, boys are circumcised and men can take up to four wives like Muslims.
While it had long been frowned upon for Yazidi women to work publicly, survivors found themselves deprived of their family's traditional breadwinners and with little state support.

So, they took matters into their own hands.

Dresses for a few dollars, baby clothes for the camp's newborns, custom-made pillow cases - mother and former Daesh captive Shemmo can make them all, using a sewing machine and fabric donated by Sikh NGO Khalsa Aid :ymapplause:

"If I was sitting here with one hand on top of the other, I'd be constantly thinking about what Daesh did to me, why my husband isn't here, where my two kids are, about my nine relatives still in Daesh hands," says Shemmo.

"With the income from the sewing machine, I'm taking care of my son and daughters - my sister and brother-in-law, too," she says, her eyes shining proudly behind edgy translucent glasses.

Abducted by ISIS when seven months pregnant, Shemmo gave birth in captivity, then was separated from her husband and children and trafficked by the jihadists, who consider Yazidis heretics.

'In my heart, on my hands'

She and three of her children were freed, but her husband, two teenage children, and other loved ones remain missing.

"They're always in my heart, but with these tattoos they're on my hands too. I see them when I work," Shemmo tells AFP.

Her pieces come in eye-popping colours: shimmering turquoise, swirling gold-and-burgundy patterns, or tropical satin prints, which she loves using for girls forced to wear head-to-toe black veils for years by ISIS.

"Hopefully when my daughter comes back, I can dress her in bright colours too, instead of black clothes," she says.

But Shemmo says she will keep donning black herself until her husband, Kero, is home: "I'm still mourning."

There is a striking absence of men in Khanke camp.

Scrawny kids dart between endless rows of tarp tents, chased by elderly Yazidi women heaving in the heat.

Over centuries and around the world, war has left communities without working males, and women step in to fill the vacuum.

The role reversal is particularly stark for the tiny, conservative Yazidi community.

"Before, in Sinjar, it was shameful for women to get jobs. Right now, it's the opposite. Women are working more than men," says Asima, 30, a make-up artist in the camp.

When Daesh attacked her hometown in 2014, her family spent nearly two weeks sleeping in the open on Mount Sinjar, before they secured safe passage down.

She has lived in Khanke ever since, opening a beauty parlour just two months ago with help from the Jinda Foundation, a local NGO which bought her makeup supplies.

"My family needed a breadwinner," says Asima.

Welcoming the survivors

Of the 550,000 Yazidis in Iraq before 2014, around 100,000 have emigrated abroad and 360,000 remain internally displaced.

Roughly 3,300 Yazidis have returned from Daesh captivity in the last five years, only 10 percent of them men.

The vast majority of remaining returnees are women and girls forced by Daesh into "sex slavery".

The closed-off Yazidi sect would have once excommunicated them for outside marriage.

But a landmark decree by Yazidi religious chieftain Baba Sheikh in 2014 demanded women survivors be welcomed back.

The community has yet to fully open up. Asima asked that her full name and picture not be used because her family remains conflicted about her working alone.

Around a dozen customers are packed into her salon ahead of a wedding, shouting gossip above Kurdish music and the intrusive hum of a generator outside.

Every few minutes, a power cut brings an abrupt halt to the buzz, but Asima doesn't flinch as she daubs thick foundation and plants eyelash extensions on her teenage customer's face.

Her makeovers cost around $8 (seven euros), while hair styling can run up to $35 for elaborate bridal updos.

But the space is more than just a business - women often come in for a reprieve from the monotony of tent life or to share tales of surviving IS, even if they're not getting their makeup done.

"This is a place where girls can escape," says Asima.

Yazidis in numbers

Of the world's nearly 1.5 million Yazidis, the largest number - 550,000 - lived in Iraq, with smaller numbers in Kurdish-speaking areas of Turkey and Syria.

Decades of emigration have seen sizable Yazidi numbers spring up across Europe too, chiefly in Germany which is home to around 150,000.

Other communities can be found in Sweden, France, Belgium and Russia.

But since Daesh swept across Sinjar in 2014, around 100,000 emigrated from Iraq to Europe, the US, Australia and Canada.

Around 360,000 still live in displacement camps scattered across northwestern Iraq.

Only a few thousand have been able to return to Sinjar, where most homes remain in ruins and services like electricity, hospitals and clean water are scarce.

Long persecuted

Their status as non-Arabs and non-Muslims has placed Yazidis among the most vulnerable minorities in the Middle East, where Orthodox Muslims have derided them as "devil-worshippers".

Daesh and its aftermath

The group seized Sinjar in August 2014, unleashing a brutal campaign against the Yazidis that the United Nations has said could amount to genocide.

According to religious authorities, more than 1,280 Yazidis are confirmed to have been killed by Daesh, leaving several hundred children orphaned. Nearly 70 shrines were destroyed.

Since Daesh lost its last shred of territory in Syria in March, dozens of Yazidi women, girls and boys have been freed and reunited with their families in Iraq.

More than 6,400 Yazidis were abducted, of whom around 3,300 - mostly women and girls - have returned alive.

The remaining 3,000 are still missing

More than 70 grave sites have been identified across Sinjar containing the remains of Daesh victims, of which 12 have been exhumed as part of a probe carried out by the UN, Iraq's government and other agencies.

Some women who had been forced to bear the children of Daesh fighters have left them in neighbouring Syria, as they would not have been accepted by the minority. ... 3079084410

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:22 pm
Author: Anthea
Syrian Orphanage Takes in
Children Born of ISIS Rape

An orphanage in Kurdish-administered Western Kurdistan has been taking in children of Yazidi women who have been raped by Islamic State fighters

Orphanage officials say their goal is to ensure these children are raised properly until their future is determined.

Ruken Ahmed, co-chair of the Women’s Liberation Committee, the group running the orphanage, told VOA that hundreds of Yazidi women and children were freed during the recent campaign against ISIS in Western Kurdistan.

“We have documented 210 children freed with their mothers during the liberation battle, most of them were kidnapped with their mothers. Currently, we are taking care of 36 children from ISIS fathers, all under (age) 5, in our orphanage,” Ahmed said.

U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) declared victory over ISIS after capturing the last stronghold of the terror group in eastern Syria.

Yazidi captives

During that offensive, thousands of civilians, including many Yazidi captives, were freed from ISIS militants. SDF officials say about 850 Yazidi women and children have been rescued since 2015.

Ahmed said that children born to Yazidi fathers have been handed over to their Yazidi community, but those who were born to ISIS fathers are taken to the newly established orphanage.

The children's fate has been the center of debate recently. In April, the Yazidi Spiritual Council, the highest authority among Yazidis, called on its members to accept all Yazidi survivors of ISIS atrocities.

A few days later, however, the council issued another statement in which it excluded children born of ISIS rape.

This situation has left Yazidi women who survived IS with two options: abandon their children or remain living in Syrian refugee camps.

Orphanage officials said it is difficult for many Yazidi mothers to leave their children behind, but they do because “these children are a reminder of the ordeal and stigma these women have endured."

Ahmed added that some of the women have kept in touch with their children after going back to their families.

ISIS persecution

Yazidis are an ethno-religious minority of about 550,000 people, mostly residing in Sinjar, northern Iraq.

A Yazidi must be born into the faith. Conversion by an outsider is not accepted. The faith does not recognize marriage between Yazidis and non-Yazidis.

At its peak in 2014, ISIS fighters seized Sinjar. The terror group subsequently killed hundreds of Yazidi men and enslaved several thousand Yazidi women and girls in atrocities that amounted to genocide, according to the United Nations.

Lost families

Once rescued, Yazidi women and their children are taken to the Yazidi House in Qamishli, Western Kurdistan.

The Yazidi House coordinates with local authorities and community leaders in Sinjar to locate the women’s families.

“Some of these women have lost all their family members, so we look for any remaining extended relatives to take them in,” Hussein Hajji, co-chair of the Autonomous Administration in Sinjar, told VOA.

Hajji added that they inform the women they cannot bring their ISIS-born children with them to Sinjar.

“We have brought back about 730 women from Syria,” Hajji said. “We don’t have an exact number of children born of IS fathers, but I can estimate that roughly the number reaches 100 children.”

Yazidi officials and advocacy groups say more than 3,000 abducted members of their community are still missing.

Leadership responsibility

Returning to their families does not end the ordeal of female Yazidi survivors, activists say.

Saad Bapir of the Yazda Organization, a Yazidi advocacy group, says the Iraqi government and Yazidi leadership have a responsibility to support the survivors and help mediate with their families to ensure a smooth reintegration.

If these efforts “reach a dead end, then the international community and the U.N. must step in and undertake the responsibility of relocating them in a country that welcomes refugees,” Bapir told VOA. ... -born-rape

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:27 pm
Author: Anthea
Iraq’s Yazidis remain displaced
five years after ISIS genocide

Hundreds of the ethno-religious minority are still missing and only a few hundred have returned to Sinjar

Five years after ISIS launched its genocidal campaign against Iraq’s Yazidi, the religious minority remain displaced from their ancestral homeland.

For centuries, the ethno-religious group – which emerged from Iran 4,000 years ago – lived in relative obscurity in an arid corner of northwest Iraq around the rugged Sinjar mountain.

The closed faith has no written book and reveres a peacock angel, which ISIS interpreted as sacrilege.

When the terrorists swept across northern Iraq in summer 2014, they killed about 1,280 Yazidi and kidnapped an estimated 6,400, mostly women and children. The rest of the population was forcibly displaced in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and beyond.

Of the 550,000 Yazidis in Iraq before 2014, about 100,000 have emigrated and 360,000 remain internally displaced.

ISIS and the war to drive it out destroyed much of the region’s infrastructure and agriculture, while hundreds of kidnapped women and children remain missing. Only a few thousand have been able to return to Sinjar, where most homes remain in ruins and services such as electricity, hospitals and clean water are scarce.

More than 70 grave sites have been identified across Sinjar containing the remains of ISIS victims, 12 of which have been exhumed as part of an inquiry carried out by the UN, Iraq’s government and other agencies.

Roughly 3,300 Yazidis have returned from ISIS captivity in the past five years, only 10 per cent of them men.

The vast majority of remaining returnees are women and girls forced by ISIS into slavery and raped. The closed-off Yazidi sect would have once excommunicated them for having sex outside marriage.

Rulings by the faith’s five-member High Spiritual Council stated women and children captured by ISIS were welcome back, but not children born of ISIS fathers. Children are considered Yazidi only if both their parents are also of the faith.

The council includes both the worldwide “prince” of Yazidis and Baba Sheikh, their religious chief, based in Sheikhan near the holy site of Lalish, nestled in the mountains of northern Iraq.

Yazidis are organised into three castes – sheikhs, pirs, and murids – and cannot wed across them or outside the sect. Over time, the faith has integrated elements of other religions: children are baptised in holy water like Christians, boys are circumcised and men can take up to four wives like Muslims.

Of the world’s nearly 1.5 million Yazidis, the largest number lived in Iraq, with smaller numbers in Kurdish-speaking parts of Turkey and Syria.

Over decades of migration, sizeable Yazidi populations have sprung up across Europe too, chiefly in Germany, which is home to about 150,000.

Other communities can be found in Sweden, France, Belgium and Russia.

Yazidis say they have been subjected to genocide 74 times, including the ISIS attack in 2014.

In one of the worst, according to the High Spiritual Council, 250,000 Yazidis perished several hundred years ago.

They were also persecuted by the Ottoman Empire in the early 1900s and more recently by the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, whose iron-fisted rule between 1979 and 2003 forced thousands of Yazidi families to flee. ... e-1.887325

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:06 am
Author: Anthea
ISIS atrocities are over
where are missing Yazidis?

It is going to be five years next month since the Islamic State launched a mass killing campaign in northwest Iraq

It is estimated that between 3,000 and 5,000 Yazidis were killed because of their religious beliefs. Many more are missing.

Earlier this year, UN teams began exhuming bodies from mass graves to identify the dead and gather evidence of ISIS atrocities for eventual trials. Forensic specialists are having trouble matching the samples with Yazidi survivors because they are scattered both in Iraq and abroad.

Some of the survivors are women who were sold into slavery. Many have lost their husbands and children, while others are unable to return home because of the trauma they suffered. ... 24377.html

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:14 am
Author: Anthea
Yazidi woman who won Nobel Prize
pleads with Trump to help her people

Iraqi human rights activist Nadia Murad met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday where she pleaded for the president to help her and others in her community return to their home country

Murad, who won a Nobel Peace Prize last year after opening up about her story of surviving sexual assault while in ISIS captivity in 2014, told Trump that much of her family remains in jail because “when ISIS attack us, no one protect us.”

“I’m from Iraq and I cannot see my family,” she told the president in the Oval Office.

“After 2003, we started to disappear from our area, from our homeland. And then when ISIS attack us in 2014, they killed six of my brothers. They killed my mom,” she continued, recalling how she and her sisters and nieces were taken into captivity around the time.

“And today we have 3,000 Yazidi women and children in captivity. So although they said ISIS is defeated, but where is those 3,000 Yazidi?” she said. “And our home is destroyed.”

“My people cannot go back,” Murad said. “We are not million of people; we are only half-million people. And after 2014, about 95 years — 95,000 years, Yazidi, they immigrate to Germany through a very dangerous way. Not because we want to be a refugee, but we cannot find a safe place to live.”

“All this happened to me,” she continued. “They killed my mom, my six brother.”

“Where are they now?” Trump asked.

“They killed them,” Murad repeated. “They are in the mass graves in Sinjar. And I’m still fighting just to live in safe. Please do something. And it’s not about one family.”

“I know the area very well you’re talking about," Trump said, later adding: “We’ll continue very strong.”

Trump also asked Murad during the meeting about her experience being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year.

“They gave it to you for what reason?” Trump said.

“For what reason? For that — after all this happen to me, I can — I make it clear to everyone that ISIS raped thousands of Yazidi women,” she said. “This one was first time the woman from Iraq, she gave out and spoke about it happen.” ... o-help-her