SHINGAL / ERBIL – This Thursday Baba Sheikh Khurto Hajji Ismail passed away after a period of illness at the age 87 in a hospital in Erbil, Iraq. The Yazidi Baba Sheikh is considered the leader of the Yazidi Religion. The Yazidis practice an ancient religion linked to Zoroastrianism.
Today, the Yazidi community lost a beacon of light with the passing Baba Sheikh. The Yazidi spiritual leader embodied our values of wisdom, kindness & tolerance. He led the community by example & treated Yazidi survivors with love & respect. He will be forever missed. pic.twitter.com/KV9YeEt5mz
— Nadia Murad (@NadiaMuradBasee) October 1, 2020
The Yazidi worldly leader is considered Mir, i.e. Prince or Chief, and this hereditary position is since 2019 held by Mir Tahseen Beg.
Yazidis have their biggest presence in the Middle East in Iraq. An estimated 500 thousands Yazidis live primarily in the Nineveh Governate in Shingal (Sinjar) and the Nohadra (Dohuk) Governate. The Yazidis, together with the other peoples of Sinjar, Nineveh Plain (Chaldeans-Syriacs-Assyrians), and Mosul, suffered genocide and displacement by the hands of ISIS.
Years after the internationally recognized genocide, the Yazidi situation in Shingal, the Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian situation in the Nineveh Plain, and North Iraq in general is still lamentable.