After Fleeing ISIS, the Suffering of the Yazidis Persists
Isis is losing the war in northern Iraq but the social forces that created it remain unchallenged. Meanwhile the Yazidis remain stranded in exile
According to Yazidi tradition, when the peacock angel first arrived on earth he coloured all things with the vibrancy of his feathers. Yet under heavy grey skies, the rain fell relentlessly on the outskirts of Dohuk city in northern Iraq, creating tracks of thick brown mud. Here a 15-strong Yazidi family, three generations together, sheltered in a half-finished building lent to them by local Christians. Until Islamic State arrived in their village under the Sinjar mountain in December 2014, they were tomato farmers, living a life that had been much unchanged for centuries. The rest of the world had little to do with them and they had little to do with the rest of the world. They didn’t marry out and outsiders didn’t marry in. That was the Yazidi way. But Isis regarded them as devil worshippers.