Today Yazda executive director, Murad Ismael participated in high-level meetings at the Iraq Reconstruction Conference in Kuwait City. We are saddened that no Yazidi or minority voices were heard. The situation of the Yazidis and other religious minorities should have been at the heart of these discussions, including the plight of Yazidi women as survivors of an ongoing genocide and sexual enslavement.
We welcome the support of the international community towards Iraq and its various communities and regions as the country attempts to recover from war.
We call on international donors to continue to support Iraq and its people but stress that a full recovery will require addressing the concerns of its most vulnerable communities and regions.
Building a future for Iraq will require equal treatment for all of its citizens, and respect for the nation’s religious and ethnic diversity. Such diversity enrichens Iraqi society, and Iraq needs to place these communities at the heart of future reconstructive processes.
In principle, Yazda agrees that funds and investments should target all sectors of the Iraqi economy. However, we urge the Iraqi government, donors, and investors to consider the level of emotional harm and physical destruction suffered by certain groups and areas and allocate funds proportionally.
Future projects should address communities’ physical needs along with social issues such as accountability, de-radicalization, social cohesion, trust, and the physical and mental health of victims, among other humanitarian aspects of the crises.
Communities such as ours will not return to their homeland unless specific and effective solutions are offered. Trust should be built between the government and its people, and among communities to ensure future coexistence.
We reiterate that accountability and justice must be at the heart of the process and the allocation of funds.
Communities suffering from genocide in Iraq deserve and require a more strategic plan to preserve their culture and identity. Without the commitment of the international community and Iraq itself., these communities will continue to suffer and may be completely annihilated.
Yazda had a positive meeting with the committee of Foreign Affairs at the Dutch Parliament last week.
In a two-day visit organised by our new partner the Free A Girl Organisation, the Yazidi genocide survivor and Yazda board member, Farida Abbas, along with Yazda Deputy Executive Director, Ahmed Khudida Burjus, had a positive meeting with the Committee of Foreign Affairs at the Dutch Parliament to discuss the possibility of the Dutch government recognising the Yazidi genocide and acknowledging ISIS crimes against all communities in Iraq and Syria. The predicament of survivors of ISIS enslavement and their need for treatment outside Iraq, the situation of Yazidis in Syria and the general humanitarian situation in Iraq have also been discussed by the two parties.
During this visit, Yazda also signed a formal partnership agreement with the Free A Girl Organisation to support Yazda’s legal and documentation project. Yazda also met with Stichting Vluchteling and the Dutch National Postcode Lottery to discuss the humanitarian situation and the needs of the community, especially survivors in Sinjar.
Finally, Yazda would like to thank Mrs.Lilianne Ploumen for arranging this event and all members of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Dutch Parliament for giving the opportunity to Ms. Abbas to tell her story and speak about the Yazidi situation. Special thank to our new partner Free A Girl for all the support during the visit to the Netherlands.
16-year-old Shahad needed heart surgery. The Yazda team in Iraq visited her twice & sadly there was not enough time to treat her severe health problems or arrange for her transport to Europe, as recommended by doctors. A report from her physician is attached for more clarification.
Shahad was held captive by ISIS for several years and was tortured physically and emotionally, which is one of the causes of her severe myocardiopathy. ISIS reportedly only “sold her” because her condition was untreatable.
Yazda tries to respond to these cases as quickly as possible but unfortunately, we do not have quick response mechanisms available.We hope that more help will be offered by international hospitals, NGOs, or countries to allow us to take victims outside Iraq for immediate treatment when needed.
Many victims return from captivity with severe health and psychological conditions that are untreatable inside Iraq and require an immediate response.
We are grateful to countries and governments like Australia, Canada, and Germany that took in many survivors and their families. We hope that more countries will offer similar opportunities for treatment or resettlement. Hospitals or NGOs working in the field of health and trauma are welcome to contact Yazda via our email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss partnership in supporting Yazidi women and girls who managed to escape captivity and who remain living under difficult conditions in Iraq.
Yazda is working with the family of Shahad, who themselves survived captivity, to receive emergency cash assistance through Freedom House. Yazda and the Yazidi community are grateful to Freedom House who has supported hundreds of girls over the past three years with emergency cash assistance.
Afrin Developments Put Security and Safety of Thousands of Syrian Yazidi Citizens at Serious Risk
For Immediate Release, January, 23 2018
Yazda follows with great concern the military and security developments along the Syrian-Turkish border and expresses its alarm with respect to the security and safety of Yazidi citizens in 21 villages in the vicinity of Afrin, where a Turkish military incursion is unfolding.
We want Turkey, Syrian rebel forces instrumentalized by Turkey (called the Free Syrian Army), and any other jihadist groups to be held responsible if any persecution or acts of ethnic cleansing take place against our people in the Afrin area. The Yazidi community in Syria has been targeted since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War in 2011 because of its identity and many Yazidis have suffered forced displacement. According to our sources, the Yazidi community in Syria has been reduced from 90,000 people to less than 15,000.
Many Yazidis in the Kurdish-speaking areas of northern Syria were targeted with persecution both by al-Qaida affiliates (such as Jabhat al-Nusra) and by Syrian regime secret police (mukhabaraat) and subsequently fled the country to become refugees in neighboring states. As Turkey now sends Syrian rebel forces back into Syria to control the areas that it is invading, there is concern as to whether Salafi-Jihadi-Islamist elements are among these forces (under the umbrella of “Free Syrian Army”) who could possibly target Yazidis with violence, as a community that is not recognized as a “People of the Book,” as Yazidis have already been targeted in Syria and Iraq throughout this conflict.
The current military operation and instability in the area puts the lives of those Yazidis remaining there at a great risk which could result in dire and tragic consequences for the Yazidi community in Syria.
Our fear is that jihadist or radical groups within the attacking forces could treat the Yazidis in a similar manner to that which ISIS employed and might therefore commit another genocide in Yazidi homelands,which include the following villages; Basofan (the largest Syrian Yazidi village-population of 3500 people before forced displacement), Faqira, Bafloun, Qastil Jandul, Qaibar, Burj Abdadlo, Ghazawiya, Shadir, Eiska, Kufir Zayit, Baa’i, Ein Dara, Qatma, Sinka, Ashka, Ali Qayna, Chaqla Koma, Qaila, Gonde Mazin, Kafir Safra, and the village of Jinders.
Yazda holds the Turkish government responsible to protect Yazidi citizens in these areas and calls on the United Nations, USA, and Russia as global powers with forces on the ground, to prevent radical groups from reaching these villages. Yazda also calls upon the Yazidis to leave such areas of conflict and to not remain under the rule of jihadist armed groups, as such groups consider the Yazidis to be infidels.
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The recognition of the Yazidi Genocide by the Armenian parliament today is a historic moment for the entire Yazidi community worldwide and for victims of this genocide. We welcome this important step especially as it comes from a country which, in recent history, has suffered greatly from genocide.
“I am touched by today’s decision and I would like to express my gratitude to the people of Armenia and their representatives in Parliament . Acknowledgment of the Genocide means a lot to me and all the victims of genocide.” said Nadia Murad, UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.
“The Yazidi genocide is the latest capital crime of our century, the world should recognize this crime and accept the fact it happened, not only recognize it, but take the steps to stop it and adopt mechanisms to ensure it will not be repeated in the future” said Murad Ismael, Yazda Executive Director
Yazda and Nadia Murad express their gratitude to the Standing Committee on Foreign Relation, to MP Rustam Makhmudyan (a Yazidi himself), leader of the RPA fraction Vahram Baghdasaryan, ,leader of the ARF fraction Armen Rustamyan and the Tsarukyan and Yelk fractions. We also thank all the members who supported the initiative.
Our organization is currently seeking a Development Director to oversee our donor relations program and manage our fundraising initiatives. The successful candidate will be responsible for developing our non-profit’s fundraising campaigns, communicating with current and prospective donors around the world, and building a stronger development team for our organization. This position involves managing individual and corporate gifts as well as planned and annual giving campaigns. The Director will work closely with The Executive Director and the Board of Directors in all development and fund raising endeavours. If you have a strong background in non-profit fundraising and development, we encourage you to apply.
Job Title: Development Director:
Responsibilities for this position include the following:
The education and skills required include the following: