Iraq: Yezidi Survivors

Oct 14, 2023 | Environmental, People, Videos

The plight of the Yazidi people is one of the most tragic stories in modern history. Over the past few years, they have endured unspeakable horrors at the hands of ISIS. In 2014, more than 3,000 women and children were abducted and are still unaccounted for. Another 300,000 men, women and children have been displaced and are living in camps in northern Iraq.

Having suffered unimaginable atrocities such as mass murder, rape and kidnapping, the Yazidi community now faces a different challenge: rebuilding their lives from what little remains. For many survivors, this process has been hampered by continued violence in the region as well as inadequate access to basic necessities such as food, water and healthcare.

Despite all they have experienced and against overwhelming odds, many Yazidis remain resilient in their struggle to reclaim their homes and rebuild their communities. To understand this struggle better, viewers can watch “They Will Have To Kill Us First”—a powerful documentary that offers an intimate look into how music has become a source of strength for these resilient people in their darkest hours. Through interviews with key figures from within the Yazidi community, it shows how singing together can help them cope with trauma and preserve their cultural identity amidst chaos.

The documentary also highlights the vital role music plays in helping restore hope amongst a people whose future remains uncertain. By featuring never-before-seen footage from refugee camps, it offers an up-close look at how music serves as a bridge between generations—and gives us an insight into what it means to survive the unthinkable.

We invite you to explore this story further by watching “They Will Have To Kill Us First”—to witness firsthand how even amidst adversity and destruction, there is still room for courage and strength.

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David B