The exodus of hundreds of thousands of Syrians from their homeland in the wake of the civil war which has gripped that country has dominated headlines. Indeed, it seems the terms “refugee” and “Syrian refugee” have become synonymous.
There has been little attention paid in the mainstream media to a persecuted people whose plight is arguably comparable to that of the Syrian refugees who dominate media attention and Canadian government concern.
They are Yazidis, and advocates for this group argue they are the victims of a genocide.
Yazidis originate from regions of Northern Iraq, Turkey and Syria. This ethno-religious minority have been the targets of massacres at the hands of many other ethnic and religious groups in these areas. Most recently, they are being victimized by the extremist group ISIS.
Yazidis have been subjected to slaughter, slavery, multiple rapes and other horrors.
The following presentation, The Genocide of Yazidis in Broad Daylight was held on the University of Winnipeg campus during that campus’s Middle East Week calendar of events.
It features two speakers: Dr. Adam Muller, Department of English, Film, and Theatre at the University of Manitoba, and Nafiya Naso, former refugee and Winnipeg Yazidi community leader.
Introduced by Belle Jarniewski, Chair of the Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre, these speakers relay details of the plight of this forgotten group, and place them in the context of other horrors and atrocities affecting peoples of the volatile middle East region.
The audio was recorded by CKUW 95.9 FM News Director Michael Welch. An edited version aired on CKUW’s People of Interest on Feb. 29, 2016: