From Shingal to Lalish - Giacomo Sini Photography

Ezidis are a religious group of about half a million people who is native of the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh. They share the same language and much of the culture of the Kurds of Turkey and Syria. Because of their attachment to a cult of pre-Islamic and gnostic origin they’ve been received years of strong repression. In last three years Ezidis, have been the main targets of ethnic cleansing by IS militiamen, along with Christians and Shiites. Everyone remember their fugue towards the mountains of Sinjar, when IS began a strong offensive in northern Iraq on early August 2014. At that time, IS forces committed a massacre, killing over 5000 Ezides men and kidnapping other thousands of women, sold into slavery in Mosul or Raqqa. The population who survived to the attacks fled in the mountains around Sinjar where it was trapped without food, water or medical care, facing starvation, dehydration and the risk of more incursions by IS for several weeks. Fortunately PKK and YPG Kurdish forces open a corridor towards the mountains to Rojava ( Northern Syria, led by Kurdish forces) in order to make them flee safely. Thousands of Ezidis get safe in Rojava or in Anatolia at that time. Despite it today more than 35.000 people are still living in the heart of the mountain within self-made tents in a self-managed society organized in local councils.

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