Emir of Ezidis brings opponents together

Ninewa, August 27, 2022: Mir Tahsin Hazim Beg in Lalish Temple in Shekhan. Media of Lalish Temple

By Ammar Aziz

The Emir (prince) of the Ezidis (Yazidis), in an initiative aimed at the unity of the religious community, gathered the majority of tribal chiefs of the districts of Shekhan of Duhok province and Sinjar (Shingal) district of Ninewa province in addition to the political parties and discussed the issue of resolving the situation in Shingal in terms of security and services.

The meeting was held on August 27 at the Lalish temple in Sheikhan, at the initiative of Mir Hazim Tahsin Beg, the Emir of the Ezidis in Iraq and the world.

Mahmoud Elias, an Ezidi activist who attended the meeting, told KirkukNow, “This initiative of the Ezidi Emir was a good thing, although it was late because if such meetings continue, there will be good results."

This initiative of the Ezidi Emir, although a little late, was a good thing

Following the death of Mir Tahsin Beg, former Ezidi Emir (Prince), the Ezidis were divided into two fronts, Shingal and Sheikhan, with affiliation to several different political parties.

On August 4, 2019, at the shrine of Shabil Qasim in Shingal, a number of Ezidi clerics and personalities decided to appoint Naif Daud Salman as the Emir of Shingal and the formation of the emirate of the district under the authority and governance of the central government.

This was in response to the inauguration of Hazim Tahsin Beg as the Emir of the Ezidis in Iraq and the world on July 27, 2019.

"This meeting was more consultative, this was the beginning, more for the unity of the Ezidis, on the issue of resolving the problems of Shingal (security, administrative and services), the return of refugees and migration," Elias said.

“If there is unity and solidarity, I am sure the problems will be solved.”

Ezidis are an ethno-religious minority over half a million population, mostly residing in Shingal and Shekhan districts.

In the wake of the attacks on Shingal and other areas of Ninewa province by the extremist militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ISIS, more than 350,000 Ezidis were displaced, 100,000 of whom migrated at the time outside Iraq. About 200,000 are still living in IDP camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq KRI up today.

The extremist militants of IS kidnapped six thousand Yazidis accusing them of being heretics, the fate of nearly half of whom is still unknown, according to KRG statistics.

kobunawa ezede
Ninewa, August 27, 2022: Ezidis gather in Lalish temple in Shekhan. Media of Lalish Temple

"It is normal for the Ezidis to belong to any political party, but in the end we must all be united to resolve the issues of Shingal and the living conditions of the Ezidis," Mir Hazim Tahsin said.

Since the military defeat of IS, discord over security arrangements, public services, and the lack of a unified administration, have plagued victims and survivors.

The Ezidis constitute 30% of the 664,000 IDPs. Last May, thousands of Ezidi families were again displaced from their hometowns to the IDP camps again due to the tension and armed clashes that erupted in the area between the armed groups.

KirkukNow story found out that over 1,300 young Ezidi people have fled camps and towns to Turkey and from there illegally to Europe.

According to the follow-ups of (KirkukNow), the main reasons for the migration of Yazidis is the massive destruction caused by the war against IS in the Ezidi region, the lack of security, stability and services, as well as the hardships of life under tents, with the shortage in humanitarian aids, water scarcity and the poor quality of the food ration items distributed by the Iraqi government.

"We all need each other to create a consensus and our voice will reach the whole world. There are misunderstandings and conflicts everywhere, but we must change these misunderstandings and conflicts and unite," Mir Tahsin added.

We all need each other to build a consensus and make our voices heard all over the world

The Ezidi Freedom and Democracy Party (PADE) participated in the meeting of the Ezidi emir for the first time. The party participated in the October 2021 parliamentary elections with forces close to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). They were one of the parties that previously supported the elected Emir in Shingal.

"Although I was not invited, I came to Lalish together with the tribal chiefs of Shingal. Baba Sheikh and the Ezidi Emir knew that I would attend the rally," said Omar Salih, the leader of the party which is popular in Shingal.

The Ezidi administration institution is made up of the Ezidi Spiritual Council, prince of Ezidis (Emir or Mir) who is the head of the spiritual council (leader of the community), Baba-Sheikh (the key religious figure), Minister Sheikh, and head of the seniors. They unanimously form the council and take the decisions.

"I proposed discussions over four levels: unity and solidarity of the Ezidis, the issue of resolving the mass migration of young Ezidis abroad, the cases of killing Ezidis, and the fourth issue of checkpoints and obstacles to traffic between Duhok and Shingal," Salih said.

The Ezidi administration institution is made up of the Ezidi Spiritual Council, prince of Ezidis (Mir) who is the head of the spiritual council (leader of the community), Baba-Sheikh (the key religious figure), Minister Sheikh, and head of the seniors. They unanimously form the council and take the decisions.

Ezidism is an old Middle Eastern monotheistic ethnic religion and is based on belief in one God who created the world and entrusted it into the care of seven Holy Beings, known as Angels. The outstanding among these angels is Melek Taus who is the leader and has authority over the world. 

Ezidis speak Kurmanji, one of the two main Kurdish dialects. The majority of Ezidis consider Ezidism both a distinct ethnic and cultural identity and do not identify as Kurdish.

On September 17, 2021, Ali Sheikh Elias, the Ezidi Baba Sheikh (grandfather), left Sheikhan district for Shingal for two weeks in order to reconcile the Ezidis, but failed to accomplish his mission.

This initiative was also an attempt to propose the trip of Mir Hazim to Shingal, who after taking office due to internal problems, could not visit the district.

“After the public meeting, I sat down with the Emir of the Ezidis and Baba Sheikh. Emir Tahsin Beg said he wanted to visit Shingal. I said it is an important step because you are the emir of all Ezidis.”

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