Act as a Survivor Not as a Victim

Dawood Saleh

If we would thrive to build a strong nation, we would have to change our way of thinking and our personality. We must challenge ourselves to stop watching passively. Nations are not built depending solely on several activists or humanitarian organizations that are trying to get some assistance for the community. First, we must recognize what happened to us was genocide. We have experienced terror and grief. But we survived. Our current situation is deplorable. We feel helpless. But are other nations and organizations going to do everything for us? Of course not! We must become a strong, united people so that we can help ourselves.

The more time passes and the more we merge with this world, the more we learn that time passes quickly. This is not in our favor. The world today is the world of science, development, technology, and media not the world of humanity. Kindness, compassion, love, ect., always work. Nevertheless, they shouldn’t be the only weapons in our arsenal. We need wisdom, knowledge and power to go with humanity. Additionally, in some cases, we need tangible weapons to defend ourselves because the evil that has been targeting us must be stopped.

We all know that a genocide took place against Yazidis and that we were the victims, but the situation of Yazidi “survivors of genocide” is deteriorating day by day. This is normal when more than 6,000 people of a nation get killed and more than 7,000 of its women and children have been abducted. Their properties were all stolen, their homes were destroyed, most of them displaced or abandoned and lost among the world’s nations. It’s a big test and it’s very hard to succeed, but this test means life or death and nothing else.

All Yazidis should know this thing. The typical Yazidi individual lives in a state of stagnation, boredom and putting blame on others for his/her miserable life. He/she became inactive and useless while waiting for help to come from an external source. He/she may suffer from severe psychological crises to the point where life itself becomes undesirable. Telling someone the truth may – in the tortured mind of this Yazidi – justify placing blame on others.

We must learn from past experiences and history. What happens to us today has happened to many before us. Some of them fought, worked hard, and returned to life; but, others were vanished and disappeared from the records of history.

Throughout history, Jews have been subjected to the most horrible crimes and were not welcome in many countries of the world. Nevertheless, their solid will and faith in life changed everything and made the world recognize them and respect them wherever they are on earth. That did not come without determination and continuous work and great sacrifice.

Today, Yazidis live the same experience. Thus, we can learn from the experience of Jews and take advantage of the time and experience they have had to pass through those difficulties. The power of any society lies in the duration of their knowledge. The successful community today reads, learns, tests and integrates. Yazidis are no longer part of a small village in the north of Iraq. They have a vision of what is going on in the world. The best means that we can use at this moment is the Internet. Use it to learn many new skills and master them. Read books. See the most prominent developments in the world. Learn new languages. And more. Yazidis must take advantage of everything to prove their existence and not hope for help to come to their tents. Yazidis must use their sufferings as a means of survival, as a fighting force, as a motive to prove their abilities and to love life and not as a justification to surrender to bitterness and victim mentality.

Without progress, without knowledge, and without advancement, I fear that after a decade or two we will talk about what happened to us as if it were something of the past and not connected to us. All those who are victims of genocide will be forgotten and will be a grief in the hearts of their families only. The women and children who were enslaved and raped will live with their pain for the rest of their lives. Yazidi people must act bigger than their age and take the responsibility to be leaders for a society on the brink of the abyss of extinction. Don’t watch from the distance like a weak person unable to walk, laying his hand on his crutch and crying for the condition of his people. Crying will not help. Screaming will not help. Blaming others will not help, and even death will not help. We want life, and we have to fight for it.

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