Yezidi Women's Services

by Free Yezidi Foundation
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Yezidi Women's Services
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Yezidi Women's Services

 

MARCH 2022 - NEWS AND UPDATES

 

Dear friends of FYF,

Every March, we celebrate International Women's Day. As we took time to celebrate our committed team of women, we continue to forge ahead with the important work we do every single day.

Please read on for our most current news!

 

CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

Did you know? 

FYF is led by women at all important levels, including our board chairs, executive director, country director, and project directors. In Iraq, our team is 89% women (outside of support staff like guards, drivers, and cleaners). 
 
“Supporting each other makes us stronger, and every woman’s success is an inspiration to another - sustainable women’s empowerment builds empires.”

- FYF Iraq team's collaborative quote
 
Referring to our team on International Women’s Day, FYF NL board member, Alisa Jamalyan, shared, “All the strong, intelligent, talented and simply extraordinary women who are building a society free of all gender biases, stereotypes, gender parity and discrimination, all the amazing ladies who refuse to be erased or made invisible should be supported each and every day.”

We believe that women's leadership can and should be implemented in practice, and not just a slogan.

FYF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO RECEIVE AWARD FROM THE WOMEN’S REFUGEE COMMISSION

 We are so pleased that our Executive Director, Pari Ibrahim, is one of two recipients of the Women’s Refugee Commission’s Voices of Courage Award.

The WRC said this year’s awardees are “two remarkable women fighting for the rights of displaced people.”

“While I am humbled to be receiving this award, the work of FYF wouldn’t be possible without our dedicated team of women leaders. I’m honored to work with them every day, fighting for justice and a better life for Yezidi women and their children,” said Pari. 

Read more about the Voices of Courage event in New York on May 3rd.

UNITAD SA CHRISTIAN RITSCHER VISITS FYF ENTERPRISE & TRAINING CENTER

  
Christian Ritscher, Special Advisor and Head of UNITAD, visited our Enterprise & Training Center (ETC) this month. The UNITAD office is designed to pursue justice and accountability in response to the Yezidi Genocide and other crimes committed by ISIS/Daesh crimes in Iraq.  

We were grateful our justice team had the opportunity to discuss with UNITAD FYF’s efforts to build crime scene analyses and identify ISIS perpetrators. The FYF team was excited to share both our ETC and our Sugar is Sweet café, where they were able to meet with Mr. Ritscher and discuss justice and recovery for Yezidis while sampling the treats made by our bakery team!

 

ADVOCATING FOR JUSTICE AND ELEVATING RIGHTS FOR YEZIDIS

On March 6th, our Iraq Country Director, Heywan Omer, and FYF Lawyer, Saood Ahmed, joined the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Iraq roundtable in Baghdad to discuss the Yezidi Survivors’ Law, codified in March of 2021. Challenges to and possibilities for implementation, as well as other issues were discussed. FYF also met with Saib Khidir, the Yezidi Member of Parliament in Baghdad, to discuss these and other matters.

FYF Executive Director, Pari Ibrahim, addressed the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 15th. The topic of this side session was The Expendable and Targeted Communities: Religious or Belief Minorities at Risk. During the session, Pari addressed the ongoing Turkish airstrikes on the Sinjar region of Iraq, seven within a span of just six months. She also focused on the Yezidi Survivors Law, as well as the ongoing priorities for Yezidi recovery and empowerment. 

This past week, Pari was invited to address the UK Parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Freedom of Religious Belief, a cross-party group formed by MPs and Members of the House of Lords. She noted the paltry number of Yezidis resettled in the United Kingdom - 52 since the Yezidi Genocide began in 2014. Pari also addressed two key issues:

  1. The value of global leaders making meaningful commitments to resettle the most vulnerable members of persecuted minorities, and
  2. The importance of justice and accountability in the aftermath of mass atrocities, as seen in the Yezidi Genocide.

Thank you all, as always, for keeping up with our news and work, and for your steadfast support of FYF and the Yezidi community.

Sincerely,

Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi FoundationC

 

IN THE NEWS
 
MANARA Magazine | Addressing the Challenges Facing Iraq’s Yazidi Community in 2022 | FYF is quoted on our ongoing work to support survivors with professional clinical psychologists.

Gatestone Institute | Turkey Committing War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity – Again | FYF's Executive Director discusses the ongoing bombings perpetrated by Turkey.

Kurdistan 24 | Civil society organizations warn Yezidi Survivors Law needs more financial support 
| FYF participated in the press conference in Baghdad hosted by The Coalition for Just Reparations (C4JR), discussing the first anniversary of the Yezidi Survivors Law.

PAL News | The Yazidis who survived ISIS are now being killed by Turkey | FYF Executive Director discusses the traumatic effects on Turkish bombings on Yezidis trying to return to rebuild their lives.
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FEBRUARY 2022 - NEWS AND UPDATES

 

Dear friends of FYF,



February has been a very busy month for us. Please read on for our most current news.

 

ISIS leader Ibrahim Abu

Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi died on February 3rd, detonating his suicide vest during a raid led by U.S. forces in northwest Syria. President Biden described al-Qurayshi as the "driving force" behind the Yezidi Genocide, and as an instrumental figure in the destruction and devastation that befell the Yezidi community during the genocide. 

Although FYF would have preferred al-Qurayshi captured alive to answer for his unspeakable crimes, removing him from the battlefield is a notable success against ISIS. We are grateful to the U.S. for its continued work to defeat ISIS and its ongoing aid of the Yezidi people.

A full FYF statement on al-Qurayshi's death can be found here.


 

On February 22nd, solemn ceremonies were held in the village of Hardan, north of Mount Sinjar, to mark the opening of seven mass graves in the area. An FYF team travelled to the village to stand with the community as they mourn. Hardan experienced one of the worst crimes during the Yezidi Genocide, where more than 300 people were kidnapped by ISIS/Daesh.

The remains of innocent Yezidis killed at Hardan have been left unprotected for years. Over the coming weeks, excavation teams will work to bring closure to families, and dignity to the victims of the massacre.

FYF has conducted a detailed analysis of the Hardan massacre, shared with UN mechanisms and international prosecutors. We continue to remain committed to advocating for both the victims and the survivors from Hardan. 

Our Enterprise and Training Center continues to thrive. We were excited to host an increasing number of joyful community events at our Sugar is Sweet café, welcoming the community for birthdays and other special occasions. Please visit us if you are in the Khanke area. When you visit, be sure to place an order for our delicious cakes and baklava!FYF participated in a discussion with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Netherlands Parliament, presenting a position paper on the Yezidi pursuit of justice and accountability. You can find our full position paper here.

On February 8th, members of the UK Parliament's Backbench Business Committee debated the Yezidi Genocide, calling for official recognition from the UK government. FYF participated in briefing MPs before the debate. We are grateful for the work of our UK allies in advocating for Yezidis.While FYF and the international community continue to fight for justice, Turkey continues to conduct unabated airstrikes in Iraq against survivors of the Yezidi Genocide. We must not allow ourselves to be complacent regarding the ongoing airstrikes in Sinjar. This footage shows the devastation from the Turkish airstrikes on Feb. 1st in Yezidi villages in Sinjar.


While we mourn the tragic loss of civilian lives and highlight the heroism of those standing against aggression in Ukraine, we also herald the courage of war journalists from different countries and backgrounds who uphold reality and truth through their photos and words. We are grateful to FYF board member Alex Lourie and all others who risk safety to report from crises around the world. Alex has previously reported on the Yezidi Genocide and is now in Kyiv. Stay safe Alex! (Photos courtesy Alex Lourie.)Thank you all, as always, for your steadfast support of FYF and the Yezidi community.Sincerely,

Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation

In the News
 
Al Monitor | Islamic State Leader's Death Brings Little Solace to Iraq's Suffering Yazidis | FYF's Executive Director is quoted in this article on Yezidi reactions to Qurayshi's death.

Rudaw  | Yazidis Welcome Death Of 'Driving Force' Behind ISIS Genocide, Call For Greater Support | FYF's comments on the death of the ISIS leader are included in this comprehensive article.

Rudaw Iraqi Premier Applauds Killing of ISIS Leader | FYF is also quoted in this article on Iraqi reactions to Qurayshi's death.

K24 | Dutch parliament debates prosecution of ISIS crimes with focus on Yezidis | FYF commented, "It is important that governments support Yezidi civil society - led by Yezidis ourselves - if we are serious about justice, accountability, and recovery in a sustainable [fashion]."


Arab News | Why Yazidi survivors of Daesh enslavement and their children are stuck in limbo in Iraq | FYF's Executive Director is quoted, commenting on the difficulty faced by these women and their children, and FYF's commitment to stand in the gap. 
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JANUARY 2022 NEWSLETTER

 

Dear friends,

We hope this email finds you happy and healthy after the holiday season. As 2022 gets underway, please find below our latest news from the month of January.

This month, FYF finished a structural analysis on the Hardan massacre, one of the worst atrocities committed by ISIS during the 2014 genocide. The confidential report, which is the first comprehensive investigation into the Hardan massacre, has been shared with two UN mechanisms and national prosecutors in seven different countries.  We hope that this report will aid authorities in better understanding the detailed methodology, intent, and actions of ISIS members when it overtook individual towns and villages during the Yezidi Genocide, and aid in prosecuting those responsible.

 
This report is made possible by generous support of the American people through the United States’ Department of State. The contents are the responsibility of FYF and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of State or the United States Government.

FYF participated in a panel hosted by Amnesty International following the world's first criminal prosecution, in Germany, for the Yezidi Genocide. Unfortunately, the new year has not seen an end to Turkish airstrikes in the Yezidi homeland of Sinjar. Yezidis were killed in strikes on January 21, 2022, further terrorizing the local community who are trying to rebuild their lives post-genocide. A detailed thread can be found here.

 

Our Enterprise and Training Center in Khanke is continuing to grow. We hope 2022 brings more success and opportunities for our staff to engage. We have already welcomed several visitors this year. They have been able to meet with our artisans and sample our delicious snacks at our bakery, Sugar is Sweet. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are in Duhok and would like to visit.Thank you all, as always, for your steadfast support of the Yezidi community.Sincerely,


Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation

In the News
 
DeMorgen | Zweden En Frankrijk Gaan Samenwerken Voor Vervolging Genocide Jezidi’s | FYF is quoted in this Belgian article on the establishment of a French-Swedish team to prosecute perpetrators of the Yezidi genocide.

Kurdistan 24 Sweden and France set up joint investigation team for crimes against Yezidis | FYF is quoted, saying: "This is a very important initiative by the EU. It is a little bit late, to be totally honest, but it is a good step."
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DECEMBER 2021 NEWSLETTER

 

Dear friends,

Please find below FYF news and the latest developments in the Yezidi community for the month of December.

Lalish temple, near Sheikhan in northern Iraq.

Earlier this month, the Yezidi community celebrated Roja Ida Ezi - one of the holiest days of the year. On Friday, Yezidis celebrated with family and friends after three days of fasting, with many enjoying the festivities at Lalish, the holiest site for the community.

On December 9, the remains of 41 more Yezidis killed in Kocho were finally laid to rest in a burial ceremony in the village. This site was among the worst ISIS massacre against our people in 2014. FYF Country Director Hewan Omer travelled to Kocho with an FYF team of Harikara and a psychologist to support the community in their grief.

Sinjar was also rocked by Turkish airstrikes this month, killing several people and leading to increased fear among Yezidi returnees. On December 7, a prominent Yezidi leader died in an airstrike on the town of Khanasor, where many genocide survivors live. His two children survived the attack. Five days later, another devastating airstrike struck Khanasor, targeting a building used by a local council and often used as a wedding hall for civilians. Strong action needs to be taken to stop Turkey from terrorizing vulnerable Yezidis in their homeland.

FYF Executive Director Pari Ibrahim was hosted by the New Lines Institute in early December for a discussion on "Gendering Geopolitics" and the recent conviction of ISIS members related to the Yezidi genocide. You can watch the full discussion here.
For our friends and allies in the United Kingdom, please ask your MP to sign the motion urging the UK government to recognize ISIS atrocities against Yezidis as genocide.
As the year draws to a close, we reflect on all we have achieved with pride. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, FYF has continued to serve the most vulnerable and responded to the needs of our community. We distributed emergency aid to IDPs whose tents were lost in a fire, provided trauma treatment to the most vulnerable, compiled ISIS suspect profiles, established a Bakery Training Center, and opened the new FYF Enterprise & Training Center. We also invested in Yezidi youth through an innovative program and continued to operate a much-needed center to combat GBV. You can find more information about our activities on the newly redesigned FYF website.

This year, our programmes have reached even more people in need, but we need your help to continue this important work. For those of you who have already  made end-of-year contributions to the Free Yezidi Foundation, we appreciate your generosity immensely. If you have not, please consider making a donation.

FYF children's center beneficiary (prior to COVID-19)

Thank you all, as always, for your steadfast support of the Yezidi community, and have a wonderful holiday season.Sincerely,

Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation

In the News
Kurdistan24 | Yezidi Activists Praise German Conviction of ISIS Member For Genocide, Stressing Legal Significance | Our thoughts are included in this piece on the sentencing of Taha al-Jumailly to life in prison for his role in the Yezidi genocide.

Kurdistan24 | Alleged Turkish Strike Targets Sinjar for Second Time in a Week | FYF thoughts are included in this article on Turkish airstrikes in Sinjar. 

Suomen Kuvalehti | Isisin kalifaatti romahti, mutta jesidivahemmiston ahdinko jatkuu - valtaosa elaa yha leireilla, tuhansia kateissa | FYF was quoted in this article in Finland regarding crimes committed against the Yezidi population.

Rudaw | Suspected Turkish warplanes target Shingal twice in five days | Our perspective on Turkey's attacks on Sinjar was also covered by Rudaw.

Rudaw | HDP condemns murder of Yazidi commander in Shingal | FYF is quoted in this article on the murder of a Yezidi military commander in a Turkish airstrike.

Rudaw | Kurdish Leaders Welcome German Court's Sentencing of ISIS Member To Life Imprisonment | Our thoughts are included in this piece on al-Jumailly case.
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SUPPORT THE FREE YEZIDI FOUNDATION THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

As 2021 comes to a close, there is so much for which we are grateful! FYF has made continued progress this year: opening the new Sugar is Sweet cafe, expanding our educational training for women and girls, continuing our fight for justice, and more.

As a women-led organization, our projects in Iraq are staffed almost exclusively by Yezidi women – women like Shaima from Khanasor. Shaima signed up for FYF’s bakery training program after taking classes at our Women’s Center. She excelled in her bakery and finance courses and was selected to join our Sugar is Sweet team. Our programs are not only helping Shaima; they continue to inspire and empower other women to learn new skills and earn their own income.

“I see that I’m encouraging other girls to go to classes and training,” says Shaima. “My friend never used to go out and now she is asking me about sewing classes. I’m the eldest in my family and have encouraged my sister to go to classes after school so she can find work, too.”Support us as we support the Yezidis

We can’t do our work without your essential support. In this season of giving, please consider a donation to FYF. Consider becoming a monthly sustaining donor or making a year-end financial gift. Every dollar counts! 

Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation

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Organization Information

Free Yezidi Foundation

Location: Duhok, NA - Iraq
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @free_yezidi
Project Leader:
Pari Ibrahim
Duhok, Kurdistan Region Iraq
$61,124 raised of $100,000 goal
 
831 donations
$38,876 to go
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