For Iraq's displaced Yazidis, the genocide is ongoing | The New Arab

“It’s quite unfortunate that the Yazidis, which are our neighbours…they will become very few in Iraq just like us,” said Wansa Shamoon, from the Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights in Duhok, which promotes the mental well-being, physical rehabilitation, and social reintegration of survivors and their families.

She herself is a Christian whose family also fled IS in 2014. Not only IS, but recurrent violence and pervasive discrimination have pushed a dramatic emigration of Christians out of Iraq in the past two decades.

The decline of both the Christian and Yazidi communities follows a pattern of minority expulsion. In the 1940s and 50s nearly all Iraq’s Jewish population left the country.

“My grandmother was always saying: ‘the Jewish told us when they left Iraq, Sunday is just after Saturday,’” Shamoon recounts.

She believes the Christians and Yazidis share a mutual story in many ways, both enduring repeated genocides over the generations, both ancient religions born in the region and faced with losing their roots.

“[Iraq] is their country, it’s their soul, it’s everything culturally, emotionally connected to them, but they have to choose between having safety without home, or living in your home while it’s not safe.”


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