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Kurdish, Iraqi leaders congratulate Yezidis on New Year

  2021-04-14  | 
 Zhyan News Network
Iraqi Yazidis light candles and torches during a ceremony to celebrate the Yezidi New Year at the Lalish temple in Shikhan, Iraq, April 17, 2018.
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – Kurdish and Iraqi leaders sent their congratulatory messages to the minority Yazidi group on the occasion of their new year as the religious minority is still unable to return to their places of origin in northern Iraq. 

Occurring every year on a Wednesday in April, thousands of Yezidis flock to shrines in the Kurdistan Region to mark the Yazidi New Year or Red Wednesday. 

It marks the day when Tawuse Melek, the Peacock Angel believed by Ezidis as God’s representative on earth descended on the holy site of Lalish temple to bless the earth with fertility and renewal, according to Yazidis’ myths.  

The Yazidis claim to have the oldest calendar compared to the Christian or Gregorian, the Jewish, and the Islamic calendars as it now stands at the year 6771.

On August 3, 2014, ISIS swept through Singar district, the main Yazidi homeland, and launched a genocidal campaign against the minority group.

90 percent of the Sinjar’s residents fled to the safe shelters to the Kurdistan Region, including thousands who were forced to climb up to the nearby mountain range on foot. Over the following hours and days, thousands of Yazidis were killed, and over 6,400 others were abducted.

“I extend my congratulations to all the Yazidi brothers and sisters in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq and the world. I hope that this feast, which is in the middle of spring and the month of renewal, will bring peace and tranquility to all,” Co-President of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Lahur Sheikh Jangi said. 

In October 2020, the Iraqi federal government and the KRG inked an agreement to normalize situation in the war-ravaged Sinjar district, purportedly to remove the armed forces from the district and facilitate the return of the displaced Yazizi minority, who mostly reside in the internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in the Kurdistan Region.  

“We take this occasion to reaffirm our support for securing their rights, the return of the displaced and rescuing of the kidnapped,” Iraqi President Barham Salih said.

 “On this occasion, I also take the opportunity to reaffirm the Kurdistan Regional Government recognizes the struggles of the Yezidi people and their just demands and will maintain efforts to provide a better quality of life,” KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said.

Besides sending his wishes, Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani lamented that “the fate of more than two thousand of our kidnapped Yazidi sisters and brothers is still unknown.”

“We have not forgotten pains and plights of our Yazidi brothers and sisters that they faced much persecution and oppression in the pas and paid much sacrifice,” PUK Co-President Bafel Talabani said.

“It is our responsibility to intensify our efforts to provide a decent and prosperous life to our Yazidi brothers and sisters and take serious steps for the return of our loved ones whose fate is still unaccounted for.”

(Zhyan English)