Yezidi women using music to keep culture alive

3 years ago

 Yezidi women in a Dohuk camp are using music to keep their culture alive six years after their community was almost destroyed by the Islamic State (ISIS). 
‘Ashti’, or peace in Kurdish, is a group of nine women living in Dohuk's Khanke camp.
“Let them see that the girls who faced so much difficulty are singing Yezidi religious songs. They are introducing Yezidi songs and culture to other people. This alone is a big thing,” said group leader Rana Suleiman. 
“After witnessing tragedy and massacres, they survived and are now singing and introducing the Yezidi culture to others,” she said. 
Our main goal is to introduce and spread the name of Yezidis and our culture around the world so it will not be forgotten,” said Yezidi singer Meyan Khalan. 
Some of the group members spent time in ISIS captivity, along with thousands of other Yezidis. 
The women say they aim to help other Yezidi survivors to overcome their ordeal.

According to the Kurdistan Region’s Office for Yezidi abductees in Dohuk, more than 6,400 Yezidis were kidnapped when ISIS overran the Yezidi heartland of Shingal, near the Syrian border, in 2014. Thousands were also killed and hundreds of thousands displaced. 

Almost 3,000 Yezidis are still in captivity.

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