As we approach the sixth anniversary of the Yazidi genocide, let’s remember the more than 12,000 Yazidis who were killed or abducted by ISIS on August 3, 2014.
Six years of suffering, displacement, hunger, deprivation and torture is what the Yazidis have been living through. In these six years, some Yazidis have taken their lives and thousands remain lost forever. Many young Yazidi men had to leave their families behind ask they risked their own lives to smuggle others to safety in other countries.
A few had the rare opportunity of getting a precious visa and flying out of Iraq, having to also leave their beloved families behind in refugee camps (including myself). The majority, however, still languish in camps, housed in rotting, non-fireproof tents that can turn into ashes in only 30 seconds. I might mention here that no camps have adequate water reservoirs or quick access to fire trucks. Because of this, too many lives have been lost because of fire.
Too many are also suffering from PTSD as a result of living through the trauma of genocide without access to proper mental health care. Suicide is not uncommon in the camps and villages.
Far too many Yazidi children have become orphans with no one to take care of them. Too many mothers have been weeping for six years for their abducted children, still waiting for any word. Occasionally young Yazidi girls and boys are still being abducted by ISIS.
Even though it was declared the ISIS caliphate was no longer, that allowed the world to believe ISIS no longer existed. That is far from the truth as there are still over 30,000 ISIS members, some active and still recruiting and others in sleeper cells. Many ISIS members are now hidden in the hills, coming down during the night to do their damage and then returning before dawn.
And, yet, the world ignores the sufferings of the Yazidis. No government is willing to step forward to help them rebuild their destroyed villages, not even their own governments!
Every year, during this time, I feel ashamed to be part of this ugly world where humanity is just a word, nothing else, a world in which everything has become too political and the only interests are greed and power. The governments play with our own lives.
My people and I will always be ashamed of the way the world left us to be victims of ISIS terrorists with no justice found. There is only a tiny ray of hope in this world that has become covered by darkness, madness and chaos.
We still believe that hope will win and our sufferings will come to an end. We hope the world will wake up from this chaos and bring justice to all genocide survivors, including my people, the Yazidis.
We were hoping that history would not repeat itself with such atrocities. However, for the Yazidis, it has repeated genocide 74 times. We had hoped the world had learned its lesson from the Holocaust, but the reality is nowhere near that.
“Never again” reverberated throughout the world after the horrors of the Holocaust. However, the reality is that new Hitlers have once again come into power. They are vampires who live on poor people’s blood, drinking our very lives and livelihood away.
It has been six years and the majority of Yazidis are still in tents; six years and the Yazidi homeland is still unlivable as it is 80% destroyed; six years and still 2,500 women and children are held captive by ISIS; six years and Yazidis still trying to determine what will happen next.
There is no help coming from any government. Yazidis are completely surrounded by non-Yazidis who are eager to attack them at any moment. This is in addition to still being hunted by ISIS.The writer is the author of Walking Alone and a survivor of Yazidi genocide.