"Çarśema Séré Salé"

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

 

Baghdad Blocks De-mining in Sinjar

This week in Paris I met with President Macron’s advisors to the Middle East, the French Foreign Ministry, the French Crisis and Support Center.  The French government re-affirmed President Macron’s commitment to assisting the Yazidi community in Iraq. Our discussions prioritized security and de-mining in the Sinjar region which is essential to allowing my community to return to their homes. 

I am disappointed to learn that the French government’s de-mining partner, The Mines Advisory Group (MAG), and other NGOs committed to rebuilding Sinjar are still waiting to receive specific permits from the Iraqi government to begin their work. I urgently request the government of Baghdad to expedite the registration process for MAG and other NGO’s.


Nadia Murad Basee
UNODC Goodwill Ambassador
Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking

Iraq Army in Sinjar

We are encouraged that the Iraq Army has moved into Sinjar to improve security on the ground. We are hopeful the Iraqi Army will replace the militias as the main security force . We encourage the Iraq government to include Yazidis as part of the Iraq army in these efforts. 

Nadia Murad Basee
UNODC Goodwill Ambassador
Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking

Afrin conflict foreshadows "ethnic cleansing" and genocide.

Today, I received information that the area of Afrin inhabited by Kurds, Yazidis and Christians is under siege from all sides. There is only one road through which people can leave the city. 200 civilians have been killed, including 3 Yazidi children. Shrines and religious sites have been destroyed or forcibly converted into mosques. People’s homes are being looted and minorities are being shamed by extremist militias. Many of these actions are war crimes and should be documented. This horror is reminiscent of the initial actions of ISIS in Iraq. Medical and healthcare services are urgently needed. This situation foreshadows "ethnic cleansing" and genocide. I appeal to the UN, the EU, and UN Security Council to demand that all sides respect the rights of civilians and work toward a cease fire. I also call on humanitarian organizations and UN agencies to provide support to civilians in the areas where access to food and medical is rapidly disappearing. All sides in Syria should work together for a peace process that will ensure peace, stability, the protection of the rights of all religious and ethnic minorities. Now is the time to heal wounds, avoid further escalations and return to normality for people in Iraq and Syria.