Ezdina holds a webinar on the Yazidi identity for activists of different backgrounds

On Tuesday, the 8th of September, Ezdina Organization held an introductory webinar on the Yazidis under the title "I am a Yazidi, I invite you to get to know me", via the Zoom App, where about 65 activists and journalists participated from different religious and national components of the societies of northeastern Syria, specifically from the cities of Manbij, Kobani, Tabqa, Hasaka, Raqqa, Qamishlo/Qamishli, and Deir Ezzor.

The webinar, which lasted three hours, stressed the importance of “strengthening the role of the Yazidis in Syria, removing the bad stereotype against them, creating supporters for the Yazidi cause, and prompting local community activists to emphasize the importance of religious pluralism and respect the other”, in addition to strengthening the concept of brotherhood among all the religious components in the region.

Representatives of the Near East Office at the US State Department, activists working in United Nations organizations, in addition to representatives of local Syrian and international organizations had participated the webinar, as the Ezdina Organization provided simultaneous interpretation into English for English speaker guests.

The aim of the webinar

Ali Isso, the director of Ezdina Organization, mentioned in his speech the aim of the webinar that it is "a real step to educate local communities about the identity of the Yazidi community by introducing the essence of the religion and the customs and traditions of the Yazidi religious minority in Syria, in addition to talking about the vision and aspirations of the Yazidis and their relationship with people of other religions."

The webinar, which was moderated by the Yazidi journalist Jaber Jindo, and the Yazidi civil society activist Madeline Chacko, included introducing the Yazidi religion, their customs, rituals and worship, and the role of women in the Yazidi community.

Geographical distribution of the Yazidis

During the webinar, Jindo mentioned that the Yazidis are distributed geographically in their historical regions in “Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Iran, India, Georgia, Armenia, and Russia” pointing out that the Yazidis were forced due to the genocidal campaigns and harassment they were subjected to immigration to European countries, especially to“Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland and France”, even to America, Canada and Australia.

Jindo explained that the Yazidis are mainly distributed in Syria in the "Ashrafiya and Sheikh-Maqsoud" neighborhoods in Aleppo, Afrin and 22 villages in its countryside, and in the villages and cities of Hasakah and Qamishlo/Qamishli and Tirbespiye/AlQahtaniyah, Serê Kaniyê/Ras Al-Ain, Darbasiyah, and Amuda in Al-Jazeera region.

Jindo emphasized that Yazidism is not a sect of a religion but it is an independent religion in itself, which extends through to a historical period of 5000 years, where as the exact date of the emergence of this religion has not been determined due to the large number of genocidal campaigns against the Yazidis, which invaded them and burned their books and documents, in addition to demolishing their shrines and historical places.

The concept of God to the Yazidis

Jindo added that the Yazidis believe in God and call him “Khoda” or “Ezdan”, that they have also a thousand names for God, and God has no partner and he is the creator of night and day, and he is the one who created the universe from four elements “water, air, dust and fire” which are sacred elements for the Yazidis.

Jindo pointed out that the Yazidis believe in other religions, their messengers, and their holy books, pointing out that the Yazidis have come to rely on the transmission of their religious heritage and religious texts on sacred religious poems and verses through a group of people called “Qawwal: Tellers” who preserve religious texts and keep them to future generations.

Regarding to the holy sites of the Yazidis, Jindo explained that the most important religious site is “Lalesh Nurani,” which is located in the district of “Sheikhan” in the governorate of “Dohuk” in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, where religious rituals are held, and it is considered a pilgrimage place for the Yazidis from different parts of the world, as well as there are about 200 religious shrines in northern Iraq, 18 religious shrines in the province of Aleppo, and 3 religious shrines in the Syrian Jazeera region, in addition to some shrines in Georgia and Armenia.

The concept of Fasting for Yazidis

Jindo added that according to the Yazidi religious mythology, the Yazidis believe in reincarnation or transmigration, and they have supplications instead of prayers, while they head to the during their supplication, while Yazidis fast for three days, in addition to fasting for forty days in the summer and forty days in the winter for the religious leaders.

With regard to accusing the Yazidis of worshiping Satan, Jindo asserts that there are no religious texts mentioning the word "Satan", noting that the reason for accusing the Yazidis is due to political reasons with the aim of obliterating the Yazidi religious identity.

The role of women among the Yazidis

In turn, the Yazidi civil society activist, Madeline Chacko, explained during the webinar that "Yazidi women are equal with men in all aspects”, as there is no religious text that addresses only men or women only, but rather the two are addressed together.

Chacko indicated that the Yazidi religion has feminine names for angels, as the Yazidi religion believes that everything in nature has an angel that protects or guards it and is responsible for it.

Chacko added that there is in the holy temple of the Yazidis what is called "Faqra", which is a religious rank for women, and referred to Yazidi women who were leaders of their community; the most famous of them is “Princess Mian Khatun”, who was born in Kurdistan region in 1873, and became a princess of the Yazidis in 1913, whom she was known of her justice and power, and she led the Yazidis at a time when the entire region was going through wars and conflicts.

Chacko added that in recent history, many women had a prominent role, the most famous of whom are “Vian Dakhil and Nadia Murad”, who was born from the womb of suffering and defended the Yazidis, lately she won many international awards.

Chacko concluded that the Yazidi woman suffered greatly because she was the first target of the invaders and enemies, as she was captured, killed, sold, and deprived of her children, and the worst forms of sexual and physical violence were practiced against her.

Participants' statements

A group of activists participated in the webinar assuring the importance of holding such webinars to introduce the Yazidis and other components of the Syrian society. The coordinator of “Better Hope for Tabqa Organization”, Radwan Al-Ali, confirmed in his statement that the information mentioned in the webinar is considered important and new, because this kind of information was insufficient before.

Al-Ali called for working on preparing a booklet to be distributed to citizens with the aim of introducing Yazidis to the people of this region, pointing out that all components and minorities have suffered during the past periods.

In turn, the writer and poet Ahmed Al-Youssef, from the Arab component of the city of Manbij, explained that for the first time he had access to information about the Yazidis through this webinar, indicating that the people of the Islamic religion support the Yazidi component.

For her part, the general coordinator of the Syrian Women Council, Lina Barakat, who belongs to the the Alawite component, indicated that it is very important for the minorities in the region to introduce themselves to everyone through seminars and activities, pointing out that ignorance of information about other components creates a barrier between the people.

Barakat added that all minorities in the region have suffered from marginalization because of the existing regimes in the region fighting them, by marginalizing them in the educational curricula or marginalizing their culture in the media.

As the writer Jumah Haider of the Turkmen component in the city of Manbij explained, that Syria is a beautiful mosaic with its ethnic, religious and social components, indicating that these components seek coexistence.

Haidar added that the Autonomous Administration project guarantees coexistence between the components of the region, by obtaining all the components their rights.

In turn, Journalist Avin Yussef also explained in her statement that there is much confusion about some details related to the Yazidi religion, while several other statement indicated the importance of webinars in introducing religious components and minorities, and correcting and removing the bad stereotype about them.

It is noteworthy that Ezdina Organization opened its headquarters, on the 21st of August 2020, in the city of Qamishlo/Qamishli, and launched the “Hope” project in the region as part of an academic and professional work program aimed at increasing the awareness of the local community about the Yazidi identity and strengthening rapprochement between the religious and national components in the northeastern Syria, by respecting pluralism, accepting the other, and rejecting hate speech and violence.



Dialogue Sessions,11,First dialogue session,15,First Seminar,9,Fourth Seminar,17,Introductory Booklet,1,Media,26,Multimedia,24,Opening,27,Outputs,8,Pictures library,3,Second Dialogue Session,11,Second Seminar,5,Seminars,37,Third Dialogue Session,13,Third Seminar,7,Various activities,7,Video,20,
Hope Project - Ezdina Organization: Ezdina holds a webinar on the Yazidi identity for activists of different backgrounds
Ezdina holds a webinar on the Yazidi identity for activists of different backgrounds
On Tuesday, the 8th of September, Ezdina Organization held an introductory webinar on the Yazidis under the title "I am a Yazidi, I invite you to get
Hope Project - Ezdina Organization
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