The Yezidis have suffered the worst genocide in the 21st century. They are counting on Israel for shelter and asylum.
Petra, Greece: The Yezidis whose civilization stretches for over 7000 yrs with a calendar which is 6766 yrs old, today face the worst genocide in the 21st century. This is not their first genocide. For the last 1400 years , they have continuously been persecuted because of their faith by the Islamic fundamentalists from the Shia, Arab Sunni and the Kurds (who are converted Yezidis into Islam) resulting in 74 genocides against the community. The Yezidis in sharp contrast to the remaining Iraq and Syria are non-Muslims, who like Hindus believe in Reincarnation. They pray towards the Sun 3-5 times every day. Their belief in harmony with nature and harmony of all living beings are paramount in their spiritual beliefs. While harmony with nature is established through their belief in four holy elements, earth , fire , air and water. Harmony with all living beings is established through Reincarnation. Based on the same beliefs in Reincarnation, Yezidis firmly believe in co-existence as anyone’s else God is not greater or lower but equal to those of the Yezidis. Also the Yezidis believe that Tausi Malek, the peacock angel and their chief God cried for 40,000 years to extinguish hell and thus non-believers of the Yezidi faith never deemed to go to hell. Yezidis thus represent one of the most peaceful community in the entire world.
Despite being a very peaceful people , Yezidis have been subjected to unprecedented torture and attacks by Islamic fundamentalists who aim to wipe them off. As part of the 74th genocide, 10,000 Yezidis were killed. 7000 Yezidi women were kidnapped by ISIS to be made sex slaves and raped daily. The entire population of Yezidis in Kurdistan, more than half a million people, were thrown on to the streets and into camps. Their houses and dreams both destroyed. Having lost all material procession, not only are they constantly living in fear but also being forced to take the most perilous sea voyages through the Aegean Sea, from Turkey to Greece, with the desire to go to Germany where many Yezidi families live.
With many Yezidis dying everyday during this journey, Steve Maman , also known as the Jewish Schindler for his efforts to save 140 Yezidi women from the hands of ISIS, took efforts to organize the relief efforts in Greece. Though initially he was helping to buy tickets and provide basic relief materials , blankets , food and clothing to the arriving Yezidis in Greece, it was soon realized that the Yezidis scattered in various camps across Greece needs to be put in one place for help to reach adequately. Moreover, many Yezidis in various camps in Greece, were subjected to threats and even complains of molestation by Yezidi women at the hands of Islamic fundamentalists who disguised themselves as Syrian refugees. Yezidi moms were very scared of allowing their children to play freely fearing their safety. Based on these inputs Steve’s organization CYCI, has now helped to start a camp within Greece called camp Petra. While the condition of the 1700 Yezidis in Greece have improved dramatically in camp Petra, the final chapter of these efforts is to ensure asylum for the members of the camp.
From camp Petra , demands of asylum has been raised by the Yezidis. These include request for asylum in Israel, Germany, Greece, Canada and US. Previously Yezidis have also demanded asylum in India. While the world has opened all doors to the Syrian refugees, the community facing the worst genocide in the 21st century, is yet to find a shelter, they can call home. Any nation that helps will be remembered with gratitude in history.