Yazidi (in Kurdish Ezadi) Relief Fund

Press Release by Kurdish American Yazidi Relief Fund:Yazidi refugees; Pic - BBC

Although Kurdish and international humanitarian organizations are ceaselessly continuing to provide food, clean water, sanitation and shelter for the tens of thousands of Yazidi (in Kurdish Ezadi; followers of one of the most ancient pre-Islamic religions in the world) refugees, the enormity of the calamity is too overwhelming for even experienced international relief agencies. The UN has called the crisis “ the highest emergency” and one of the worst tragedies in recent years in terms of numbers of refugees it has created in a short time; on Aug 3.  2014 over 100,000 women, children, and men fled the savage onslaught of the Islamic State, seeking sanctuary in the Shingal ( in Aarbic Sinjar) Mount, encircled by the jihadists. Unconfirmed reports indicate nearly 1,000 Yazidis were massacred. Hundreds of women and girls were taken hostage and enslaved as the pillage of war. Those who refused to convert to Islam were decapitated.  For days tens of thousands were trapped on the Death Mountain where at least 500 children and elderly have died of starvation and dehydration.

The magnitude of the crisis requires continuing and concentrated emergency relief to be a global commitment in which all humanitarian entities should take part to help the Yazidis survive the genocidal war that Islamic State barbarians have waged against them and other ethno-religious minorities, including Christians Kakais and Shabak. Temporary camps put together  around Kurdish provinces and cities such as Duhok and Zakho are over-crowded and ill-equipped  to be able to manage the massive influx of displaced people, nor do Kurdish urban centers have the required infrastructure and capacity to meet the growing needs of so many.

One Yazidi man, Tahsin Khdidad has summed up the tragic fate of his people as follows: “We are weary and hungry, our property is lost, our very existence is vanishing before our eyes; we have been turned into refugees, wanderers; we have been massacred; we have been kidnapped; our land has been turned into an inferno; we are thinking of mass migration to leave behind this inferno named Iraq.” The gravity of the situation has left no room for long term resettlement planning.

Participants in a fundraising meeting stressed the need for co-engagement in planning, organizing and expanding relief aid campaigns in Southern California to help alleviate the plight of Kurdish Yazidi refugees and other ethno-religious minorities, many of whom have become convinced that they would never go back to their ancestral land for fear of being besieged and massacred once again. The current crisis has left terrible effects on the entirety of the Yazidis in particular who are struggling to survive this tragedy.

We as members of the Kurdish American communities support military assistance to the Kurdish Regional Government to fight the bestial extremist Islamic State. We also call for strengthening the UN humanitarian relief efforts as we express our deep appreciation to the heroic staff of relief aid agencies and the generosity of American public and government to provide humanitarian assistance to the Yazidis and other minorities.  We have joined the global relief effort by organizing fundraising campaigns in support of Yazidis and other ethno-religious minorities such as Christians, Shabaks and Kakais. Only collective compassion for the victims of this great tragedy of the century can restore hope in the Yazidis not to give in to despair and to rise up and reclaim their lost dignity during these difficult and dark times.

Organizing Committee of the Yazidi Relief Fund:

Contact:  Amir Sharifi: 818-6357317 sharifiamir5@gmail.com ; Nyma Ardalan: 310 279 6398 nyma@ardalan.org

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