Wednesday, September 03, 2014

More on the Yazidis

YAZIDI WATCH: For Yazidis, Exile From Spiritual Homeland in Iraq Dilutes Ancient Culture. Some are contemplating migration, severing ties to their holy land. Others want to stay and protect their shrines. (Rania Abouzeid, National Geographic).
Lalish, in Iraq's northern Kurdish mountains, is to the Yazidis what Mecca is to Muslims, or what Jerusalem is to followers of the three great monotheistic faiths: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.

It is the holiest site of an ancient Kurdish minority faith whose members have been in flight since early August, scattered by the tempestuous advance of Islamic State (IS) insurgents into Sinjar, a majority Yazidi town in northwestern Iraq, and its surroundings.

The Yazidis were propelled into the international spotlight last month, when tens of thousands fled on foot, climbing into the imposing but largely barren Sinjar Mountain range to escape IS militants besieging them at its base.
Most of them seem to be relatively safe now, but the situation remains volatile.

Background here and links.