This Wednesday, April 18th, Yazidis around the world celebrate the Yazidi New Year, "Çarśema Séré Salé." It is our time to celebrate the creation of our universe, life, and nature.
On the occasion of this New Year, I know we will continue to rebuild our community in the coming year. We will make progress despite the difficult aftermath of Da’esh's campaign of genocide against us.
It has been more than three years since our community in Iraq was attacked. Thousands of Yazidi women and children remain in captivity. The majority of Yazidis in Iraq live in IDP camps. The reconstruction of our homeland has not started. 40% of our homeland has not been de-mined, and more than 47 discovered mass graves in Sinjar have not been examined.
Difficult times lie ahead, but there is reason for hope. Nations around the world have recognized the Yazidi genocide. Countries such as France have committed to de-mining Sinjar. The U.N. Security Council has estblished a team to investigate genocide crimes committed by Da’esh in Iraq. My foundation just released the first assessment of Sinjar, which will provide other organizations with a framework to develop additional rebuilding programs. https://nadiasinitiative.org/status-of-sinjar/
As we educate the world about the Yazidis, we must encourage all people to imagine Sinjar and the surrounding area as a place that can have a prosperous and peaceful future. Rebuilding can be a slow process, but the more people learn about our culture, the more we can imagine a new future for the region together. The Yazidis have survived 70 genocides and I know we will overcome this one. This time, however, we must do more than endure. We must work toward a future in which the entire world, not just the Yazidis, say "never again.”
Nadia Murad Basee
UNODC Goodwill Ambassador
Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking