Yazidis seeking refuge at holy site
feel helpless, abandoned
- Because the Yazidis are not Hispanic illegal aliens Obama has done next to nothing for them.
- Comrade Obama will shower illegals with free housing, medical care, education and free lawyers. Meanwhile Yazidis are left to starve in the rubble.
(Los Angeles Times) - The Yazidis follow an ancient faith with links to Zoroastrianism.
Hundreds found their way to a mountain village in northern Iraq that is the holiest site for Yazidis, home to the tomb of their founder Sheik Adi and shrines to other leaders of the faith.
Afdaal and her family were on a one-day pilgrimage, visiting from a nearby refugee camp that has served as a temporary home since they came down from Mt. Sinjar, where they were trapped for 10 days in August with thousands of other starving and dehydrated Yazidis. Afdaal said they had to leave her 90-year-old father on the mountain because he was too frail to make the journey. Three days later, they learned that he had died.
"This is not a life, it's very hard," she said. "We expected there would be help, but the help didn't come."
"When is President Obama going to help all the helpless people? When the homeless Yazidis are walking through the streets of New Jersey and California and South Carolina?" asked Sulaiman Shaybo Sedo. "When is he going to be our hero?"
"I can't live like a sheep among a flock of wolves," said Sedo, a father of nine. "To be honest, we are pessimistic."
Sedo, who worked for eight years as an interpreter for American troops during the Iraq war, has been living with his family under a highway overpass since mid-August, along with members of 12 other families. Some have tents, others only carpets to sleep on.
Viyan Yousif, a Kurdish pharmacist and head of the Kurdistan Medical Charity Foundation, came to Lalish last month to treat those cut off from medical care since fleeing their homes.
"The problem wasn't in the mountains; the problem began when they came here," he said. "In the mountains they had God. Here no countries have come to help us, including the United States. Don't send me planes to strike ISIS — that doesn't solve the problem — send me aid."
An estimated 1.8 million Iraqis have been displaced and 850,000 are in the semiautonomous Kurdistan region, said Ned Colt, a spokesman with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
"The needs are massive and the demands are outstripping the supply," he said. "We are catching up, but clearly this has been a massive humanitarian displacement. This remains a crisis with people living in schools and mosques and churches."
Just outside a shrine at Lalish, where the faithful gather before dawn, Shukri Hajji Jameel and his family have made a temporary home.
As pilgrims make their way to a small room, where they pray at the altar and leave cash donations at the threshold, they cast sidelong glances at the extended of family of nine.
The family has a few thin mattresses and blankets, a one-burner stove and the day's meal, a bowl of rice and scraps of meat, more skin than protein. Above their heads hangs a UNHCR tarp that was handed down to them, along with most of their current possessions, when another family departed the village for a displacement camp.
"I wish that God would take us out of this country, but we don't have any money," said Jameel, a Yazidi who is an Iraqi soldier but hasn't been on duty since his salary was halted in June when Islamic State took control of Mosul.
Those with nowhere else to go find themselves here among shrines, altars and holy water.
"Where else are we going to go? We don't have a car, we don't have the money to rent an apartment," said his wife, Nawal Jameel Elyas. "We figured we would be safest among our people."
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