Duhok, July 13, 2023: Yazda, a community-led organization dedicated to aiding and empowering survivors of genocide in Iraq and around the world, announced the launch of a captivating video series that showcases the rich and vibrant Yezidi heritage. This comprehensive collection of 45 episodes, meticulously crafted by talented Yezidi filmmakers over the span of two years, is made possible by the generous financial support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The series aims to preserve the invaluable intangible cultural heritage of the Yezidi community, promoting global awareness and fostering intercultural connections.
To date, Yazda has already released an impressive selection of 10 videos, available for viewing on both their official website and YouTube channel. Moving forward, Yazda will continue to unveil two new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday until all 45 videos have been published, providing audiences with an immersive journey into Yezidi culture.
"Songs, stories, and dances are all integral parts of Yezidi culture. Capturing these practices on video gives the world a glimpse into these unique and intangible cultural practices. USAID is proud of our partnership with Yazda and the Antiquities Coalition to train Yezidis in the art of filmmaking, offering a means to memorialize their heritage and make it globally available." said USAID Mission Director to Iraq, Elise Jensen.
Reflecting on his childhood memories, Ismail Issa, Yazda's Culture Preservation Project Manager, reminisced, "I can still vividly recall the evenings spent at my grandmother's house, listening to her captivating stories. Although I struggle to remember all the details, preserving this precious folk treasure stands as an invaluable community service."
Peter Herdrich, Co-founder of the Antiquities Coalition added: “This is a groundbreaking project, a unique database of videos that captures the Yezidi community’s heritage. The documentation of Yezidi culture allows us to digitally preserve it for future generations.”
To view the compelling video series and embark on a journey through the Cultural Heritage of Minority Communities in Iraq activity, visit Yazda's official website at www.yazda.org or explore their YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/@yazda6461/videos.
"Preserving the Cultural Heritage of Minority Communities in Iraq" activity stands as a collaborative endeavor between Yazda and the Antiquities Coalition, funded by a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).