Ezidi 24 – Dyab Ghanem
Translation – Tahseen Alhaskany
The Yazidis in Syria several decades ago knocked the doors of immigration outside the country due to the conditions in which they were living, from the marginalization of their rights and lack of attention to them in that country.
After the appearance of the terrorist organization ISIS in Iraq and Syria and the extermination of the Yazidis in Shingal in August 2014 by the organization, the Yazidis in Syria faced many and greater difficulties than before, and the migration rates moved towards the top of the curve.
Yazidis in Syria before the war
The Yazidis are among the original inhabitants of Syria. They lived in the areas of Jarrah, Hasaka, Ras al-Ain, Afrin, Aleppo and Amuda, and they were distributed among the various villages and towns in these cities.
Due to the constant persecution, they were forced to live in their own areas, as a form of isolation due to the fear and caution that surrounded them. They used to perform their social rituals like others without interfering with anyone’s affairs or trespassing on others.
The number of Yazidis in Syria
The number of Yazidis in the countries in which they are present, such as Iraq, Armenia, Syria and Georgia, is not large, and they are considered minorities because of that, and as a result they have been subjected to dozens of genocides in various places.
According to the “German Sigmaringen” court, the number of Yazidis in Syria was 50 thousand, but it decreased to 20 thousand or less in the recent period due to harassment by various armed groups. Some of them were forced to change their beliefs, and some went abroad.
In most countries, the Yazidis live below the poverty line, and because of the lack of dealing with them as major components in some countries such as Syria and Turkey, they lack government jobs and their sources of livelihood lie in agriculture and raising livestock and animals in general.
The state seized the lands of the Yazidis in Syria since the seventies of the last century. Thus, those who worked in agriculture lost their source of livelihood, and the animals numbers also deceased, and this was an indirect message to emigrate.
Their political, religious and legal rights
Yazidis complain about the lack of their presence in the political cabins in most of the countries in which they live, and they are also deprived of performing their religious rituals because of their beliefs, and from the legal point of view they face many difficulties in matters of identity papers.
According to an article published by the researcher on Yazidi affairs, “Faramaz Gharibu” in the “Democracy” website, “Yazidis in Syria, like all the Yazidis in the countries in which they are present, do not have any right, neither in terms of politics nor from the religious point of view. They do not have Sharia’a or religious courts of their own, and they are not allowed to follow civil courts in their religious cases, as in Europe, for example. Therefore, in cases of marriage, divorce, and what is related to that, they are subject to Islamic Sharia’a courts and even that has become prohibited for them and Mr. Abdullah Arfi, the Sharia’a judge in Hasaka In 1993 AD, considered them infidels and called for their testimony not to be accepted before the Syrian courts.
And he stated that “the Yezidis in Syria are prohibited from performing their religious rituals in public, and that if it is done through secret and amid intense fear, and the absence of Yazidi religious sites in the modern history of Syria is evidence of their marginalization and their lack of enjoyment of their religious rights.”
Yazidis in Syria in the face of arms
Ali Isso, director of the Ezdina Media Foundation, said in a previous statement to “Ezidi 24” that, “The number of Yazidis before the Turkish invasion of Afrin reached about 35 thousand people, and after the Turkish occupation with the support of extremist factions called the“ Syrian National Army ”about 90 percent were displaced From them outside Afrin, according to the Ezdina Foundation, which its monitoring team conducted in late 2019 after the occupation of Afrin, a field census of the Yazidis who were distributed in more than 22 Yazidi villages, to the surprise of the team that the numbers became about 1,500 people, most of them elderly and children.
“The violations against the Yazidis are numerous, as there is widespread destruction of the Yazidi religious shrines, which exceed 18 shrines distributed in the Afrin region, in addition to other violations of kidnapping and torture of women for about 20 women.”
A source, from Afrin, who refused to reveal his name for security reasons, spoke to “Ezidi 24” and said, “We live in a state of fear and far from safety and stability. We can not say anything about the Yazidis and not even visit our shrines and at all a Yazidi village, there became a mosque and four or five sheikhs to stop the presence of Yazidis from this area.
He also said, “We have to live because this is our land and the land of our ancestors, there is a large number of us waiting for the door to emigrate to open to go to Europe because here even the animals can no longer live, so we became at the disposal of armed factions in general without exception, as every day they kidnap, imprison and pay a ransom (Money) and kill.”
According to statistics reported by the “source” to us, the villages of Afrin have become almost empty of Yazidis, as follows:
- Qustal Gendo 128
- Pavlon 73
- Qatme 143
- Aleqina 5
- Sinka 86
- Qibar 86
- Afrin 42
- Trindi 69
- Ain Dara 36
- Burj Abdalu 50
- Kimar 58
- Basufan 106
- Ghazawia 96
- Deer sheep 15
- Iskan 7
- Kafrazit 25
- Qajoma 0
- Qila 0
- Jendres 22
- Jagla 42
- Ashka Sharqia 0
- Faqira 123
An unknown future for Yazidis in Syria
The name of the Yazidis was associated with immigration in Syria, since migration is the only way for them to get rid of injustice and enjoy freedom in Europe, while the violations against them continue, the last of which was the killing of an elderly man in Afrin.
Activists familiar with the Yazidi situation in Syria do not see a bright future for them. On the contrary, there are fears of a repeat of the massacres that occurred in Shingal and severing the Yazidis’ link with their land in Syria.