The Yezidis

An ancient people, tragedy, and struggle for survival

Authored by: Birgül Açıkyıldız-Şengül

Routledge Handbook of Minorities in the Middle East

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138649040
eBook ISBN: 9781315626031
Adobe ISBN:


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While the Middle East is shaken by military interventions, inter-communal conflicts and internal uprisings, devastating the whole region, it has also witnessed democratic social transitions and transformations such as the Arab Spring, post-Islamic social movements, the Green Revolution and movements of the urban rural poor. All these developments have contributed to changes and transformations in the political and cultural map of the Middle East. Amid the upheavals and uncertainties of the past decade, leading to dislocation and reconstruction, the Yezidis unfortunately gained high visibility in the new genocide of 2014. In this period when the Middle East is reshaped, the probable role of the Yezidis as an ethno-religious group in the new Iraq remains an open question. Various religious and ethnic groups have fought for existence, sovereignty and independence since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. However, the Yezidis, not having military or political power to engage in an insurgency to protect themselves and demand their rights to live in their own lands and participate the political life of the region, have been forced to leave the region amid a range of massacres. In my book entitled The Yezidis: The History of a Community, Culture and Religion I provide the details of the Yezidi tragedy, exploring the plight of the Yezidis as a historical community in greater detail.

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