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ISIS Prime Target, Yazidis, Remain Refugees

Last week in Iraq I enjoyed a rare privilege: visiting with a Yazidi family in a remote tent city. The Yazidis are an ancient ethnic and religious minority, and a particular target of ISIS. In 2014, over 400,000 Yazidis fled as ISIS seized the Iraqi city of Sinjar, with thousands more killed or forced into slavery. These recent tragedies, however, did not hinder the hospitality of my hosts. Instead, the offered me fresh baked pita bread, a tour of the plastic tents that for five years have been their home, and an invitation to hold a young Yazidi child.


Since 2017, the power of ISIS has diminished, but many Yazidi families express continuing to feel safer in such camps. Winters are cold, in spite of lining their tents with blankets. Days are long, with men being bused away to farming jobs. And education opportunities are limited. Still the Yazidi impress me as an especially hearty and kind lot. I hope one day you, too, will meet some!

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