Yazidis Gather In Lalish To Commemorate & Demand Action

To commemorate the second anniversary of the beginning of a genocide against them, Yazidis gathered at Lalish Temple on August 2, 2016. Using banners in English, Arabic and Kurdish members of the community pleaded for the world to recognize the trauma they have suffered and to bring the extremists of ISIL to justice. Photographs of …

Escape From Mosul: Sali’s Story

Sali wasn’t dismayed when ISIL militants tore through Mosul in June 2014, believing the group’s arrival was merely the latest move in the daily game of snakes and ladders played between the extremists and the Iraqi army. Twenty-four hours later Sali was struggling to comprehend how quickly her beloved city had be captured, now completely …

Yazidi New Year

  New Year, or Red Wednesday, is the most significant feast in the Yazidi calendar, and as such there are many ceremonies and traditions to be observed. It is celebrated in April. Yazidi girls are not allowed to marry during April because the ‘feast should be her ultimate groom.’ The green pastures and colourful anemone …

Playing A Game On Yazidi New Year

  Egg painting is one of the most significant religious symbols of the Yezidi new year, Red Wednesday. Eggs symbolise earth, while boiling them illustrates the changes the earth has gone through, and the white eggshells represent nature. Once boiled, they are painted the colours of nature, before being used in an ancient game. The …

How Saddam Sowed Discord Between Kurds and Arabs

Khayrea Shwano – Yalla A personal experience   When I was a child I was apprehensive of those who spoke with an Iraqi accent. I was from a patriotic family that glorified its land and had great pride in its heritage and language. It wasn’t easy to “love my enemies” – this was my truth …

Through Their Own Eyes: Yazidi Photojournalists Document Life & Death In Kankhe Camp

In August 2014, the young women whose photos we publish here were among the more than 400,000 Yazidis who fled their homes as ISIL swept across northern Iraq. Trapped in Sinjar, hundreds were executed and thousands of women and children were enslaved. Shayda Hessami developed a project in which the participants took a month-long photography …

Yazidi Women Take Centre Stage In Their Own Stories

On August 2 & 3 2014 ISIL militants launched attacks on Yazidi communities in the town of Sinjar and surrounding villages. Many hundreds were murdered, thousands of women and girls were kidnapped and continue to be traded as sex slaves, and tens of thousands were displaced. Yalla today begins a three day look at life …

International Day Of Friendship To Be Celebrated Across The Globe

July 30 sees people around the world take parts in events to celebrate the UN-recognised International Day of Friendship. The day was conceived by Paraguayan Dr. Ramón Bracho who first proposed the idea during a dinner with friends in 1958. They agreed that friendship and fellowship between all people, regardless of race or religion, is …

UNESCO Considers Iraq’s Marshes For Inclusion On World Heritage List

The 40th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee opened July 10 in Istanbul, where they will consider inclusion on the World Heritage List of 29 sites from around the world. Among the submissions are Mistaken Point reserve in Canada, home to 560 million year-old fossils, in the Natural Sites section. In the Cultural Sites …