Archive for August, 2014

Yezidi

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

 

A dozen years ago I made a trip to Iraq in the company of writer Jonathan Glancey for a cover story for the Guardian Magazine. I’ve worked there a few times, but on this occasion we were trying to record the layers of civilisation, preserved as if in aspic under Saddam, that were about to be destroyed by the onslaught of NeoCon wars. By sheer luck we managed to travel the length and breadth of the country (albeit with very nervous security) from Basra in the South to Mosul up north. That is where I photographed (all too briefly) a nervous Yezidi community – a living link to a much earlier Assyrian culture religiously linked to Zoroastrianism. It seems so much that I photographed on that trip has now been destroyed or brutalised. Baghdad, Babylon, Basra, Shia shrines, the ziggurat at Ur, the mosque at Samarra – the list goes on. All broken in the name of a privatised campaign of Imperial plunder. The more I look, the more the work becomes an historical vault of how things were and, like a glance back to the past in a cracked mirror, how they will never be again. Which brings me back to the last remnants of the peaceful Yezidi community exposed and dying on a mountain surrounded by Gulf-backed, anti-Shia jihadis dreaming their fantasies of an empire of blood and slaughtering their way back to a new age of darkness. This Caliphate now ‘rules’ over at least six million people and is consolidating its positions, not imploding despite the West’s best hopes. As I wrote in 2010 about the US ‘withdrawl’ from Baghdad, “The war, born of a lie, born of greed and evil has been a disaster for America and for the world”. Not that the architects of that Crusade will care of course, neither will they spare a thought to the inevitable carnage on Mount Shingal.

 

 

 

Iraq - Mosul - A Yezidi priest lights a lamp in a religious service at a Yezidi temple. The Yazidis believe in God as creator of the world, which he placed under the care of seven angels the chief of whom is Melek Taus - the Peacock Angel. Speculation that worship of Melek Taus was worship of Satan (who fell) have resulted in Yezidi's being persecuted as 'devil worshippers' throughout their history and persecuted.

Iraq – Mosul – A Yezidi priest lights a lamp in a religious service at a Yezidi temple. The Yazidis believe in God as creator of the world, which he placed under the care of seven angels the chief of whom is Melek Taus – the Peacock Angel. Speculation that worship of Melek Taus was worship of Satan (who fell) have resulted in Yezidi’s – wrongly – being persecuted as ‘devil worshippers’ throughout their history and persecuted.

 

Iraq - Mosul - An old  Yezidi woman

Iraq – Mosul – An old Yezidi woman

 

Iraq - Mosul - A man stands by a Yezidi temple

Iraq – Mosul – A man stands by Yezidi temples

 

 

 

 

 

(http://www.blog.stuartfreedman.com/2010/08/iraq-inc-or-how-a-withdrawl-is-really-not/)