Mission: to preserve the Yezidi faith and empower the Yezidi people all around the world through selfless service.

Members of Yezidis International have been honored to speak throughout the globe through media to create awareness and stir hearts to action. Take a moment to look at the articles below to learn more about our organization and its members.

Jewish Journal

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Raising Awareness with Jewish Journal

Khalaf’s focus in Lincoln has “shifted to setting up services and doing community-building for new immigrants, which she hopes will bolster their ability to practice their traditions. She co-founded the nonprofit Yezidi International (“Yezidi” is an alternate), which offers English instruction and driving classes to older Yazidi women.”

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Community Events

NET Radio

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NET Interviews Members of YI

Members of Yezidis International in an Interview with NET Radio discuss the importance of the programs they have in Nebraska. “Khalaf says programs like this one have made what can be a lonely transition a bit easier for these women.”

“They were these ladies who took care of their families and were confident in their ability to do it well. And now they’re here. Reading, they cannot do. Writing, they cannot do. Driving, they can’t do,” she said. “So basically they end up being sort of mute, not able to see and if you cannot drive, it’s equivalent to not having feet.”

Read More here. .

Hen gulie khalaf

YI Preserving the Yezidi Heritage

Yezidi December Fasting Focused on Community

As many Americans complete their Thanksgiving feasts and look forward to the celebration of Christmas, Kwanza or Hannukah, Yezidi Americans, prepare for their most important time of fasting. The Rojit Ezi or the Fast Of Ezi is a three day observance of fasting and time spent with family and making offerings to charity and those less fortunate.

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Yezidi elder Sun Worship

Raising Awareness

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YI Empowering Community Members in USA

Shireen Ibrahim thumbs through the photos on her cellphone until the dark eyes and furrowed brow of the man who sold her into slavery stare back.

She looks away as she pushes the phone across the table, retreating inward from the harrowing memories Abu Ali can conjure.

“I never want to see his face,” she says, her voice rising in pitch, “but I keep it so I can show it to others.”

Read More . . .

Shireen Attending Literacy Program Directed by Yezidis International

Shireen Attending Literacy Program Directed by Yezidis International

Celebrating a Year and Half of Empowering the Community

Celebrating a Year and Half of Empowering the Community

Before the dance performance

Grandma Project and Dance Away class members with teachers & mentors (May 2017)

The organization Yezidis International seeks to empower the Yezidi community in Lincoln and to help its members preserve their faith and identity. In 2016 a partnership was established between St. Matthew’s and Yezidis International. The partnership has created four projects so far, supported by a grant from the Diocese of Nebraska.

Dance Away students performing at St. Matthew's Music Festival

Dance Away students performing at St. Matthew’s Music Festival

Yezidis International Partners with Girls Scout

Girl Scouts for refugee girls, earning badges in a new world

” The Girl Scouts received a grant last summer to start a program for refugee girls who might not otherwise become involved in scouting.
Girls who might not even know what Girl Scouts are.
‘In Girl Scouts, inclusiveness is important to us and we wanted to find some girls we hadn’t reached before,” says Ninneman. “This was kind of a new outreach.’
Last fall, the leader began working with ELL teachers in Lincoln to find potential members. So far, there are after-school refugee troops at Goodrich and Park middle schools, and at North Star High School. A fourth troop comprised of Yazidi girls just began meeting at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, and an Asian Center troop is in the works.”

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Yezidis International girls in Dance Away Program

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Establishing Programs to Empower American Yezidis

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Transforming Lives with Saint Mathews 

It truly has taken a whole “village” to make two programs become a reality in Lincoln Nebraska. First one Grandma Project, established 5 months ago, gives the older Yezidi women a chance to learn some essential skills to help them integrate into the American community. The second program, Dance Away gives underprivileged children in Yezidi community a chance to learn to perform and develop appreciation for different types of music .
We want to express our gratitude to the Saint Mathews staff and members for their time and also for the grant recently given to help us explore ways to further develop these programs.  We are indebted to you for giving us the helping hand we needed to establish programs that transform lives. Above all, we are all thankful for respecting the Yezidis values and beliefs.

Yezidis International  team

Grandma Project

YI Informing the Public with Alhurra

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Alhurra’s  Documentary  Featuring YI Members & American Yezidis

Alhurra (Arabic: الحرة‎‎ )  is a United States-based public Arabic-language satellite TV channel that broadcasts news and current affairs programming to audiences in the Middle East and North Africa. Alhurra has more than 7,000,000 followers on facebook.

Alhurra documentary Yazidis: A Temple and A Cemetery. The hour-long documentary shows the dire plight of Yazidis and the current crisis they are facing with ISIL. The documentary also sheds light on Yazidi-Americans that migrated to Lincoln, Nebraska, determined to provide a better life for their families. The documentary looks at the daily life of the Yazidi-Americans in Nebraska, as well as the challenges they have faced.

YI Raising Awareness with Journal Star

What Yezidis Lost

An American Yezidi, Yezidi community in Nebraska, and member of Yezidis International shares their story during the 2nd remembrance of 74th Genocide

“He left behind his jewelry shop, where he worked as a goldsmith, and the beauty salon, the wholesale store and the pharmacy he owned in the Iraqi town roughly the size of Kearney, 6 miles from the Syrian border.”

2nd anniversary of Yezidi genocide

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NET Radio

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NET Interviews Members of YI

Members of Yezidis International in an Interview with NET Radio discuss the importance of the programs they have in Nebraska. “Khalaf says programs like this one have made what can be a lonely transition a bit easier for these women.”

“They were these ladies who took care of their families and were confident in their ability to do it well. And now they’re here. Reading, they cannot do. Writing, they cannot do. Driving, they can’t do,” she said. “So basically they end up being sort of mute, not able to see and if you cannot drive, it’s equivalent to not having feet.”

Read More here. .

Hen gulie khalaf

Armenia’s Parliament Calls for End to Persecution of Yezidi

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The National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia issued a statement on April 8, 2015, in which it states, “Armenia’s diplomatic representatives and legislators have on numerous occasions raised the issue regarding the impressibility of what is occurring and the need to ensure humanitarian assistance at the United Nations and other organizations.” In conclusion, the statement says that the (six) parliamentary factions of the National Assembly share the pain of the Yezidi community and promises to continue to raise the matter of the immediate need to end the persecutions and will utilize all possibilities to do so.

Click Here to Read More . . .

The New York Times

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The New York Times: ISIS Accused of Genocide

United Nations Investigators Accuse ISIS of Genocide Over Attacks on Yazidis

GENEVA — United Nations human rights investigators on Thursday leveled accusations of genocide and war crimes at the Islamic State, citing evidence that the extremist group’s fighters had sought to wipe out the Yazidi minority in Iraq.

Read More  click here

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Raising Awareness with Lincoln Journal Star- March 9th

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Raising Awareness with Lincoln Journal Star

Gulie Khalaf recalls the optimism with which she approached childhood in a Syrian refugee camp.

Her family fled Iraq when Saddam Hussein launched a genocidal campaign against indigenous Yazidis in the country’s northern Kurdish regions.

Inside her refugee camp, a bakery served insect-infested bread, water arrived infrequently, and some of that was so bad it had to be poured on the family’s small garden.

To read more click here

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Taking Refuge- blog March 6th

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Raising Awareness Through “Taking Refuge”

Most of us – myself included – first heard the term “Yezidi” last summer when ISIS sent thousands from the minority group running to Mount Sinjar, where they encountered death. But, this was not the first time Yezidis had been the subject of a humanitarian crisis. Members of the faith have faced persecution long before the rise of the jihadist group, often bordering on genocidal proportions.

One Yezidi woman is working to change that.

Gulie Khalaf came to the United States with her family at age thirteen. While excited to embark upon the journey from the Middle East to America, the family’s one-way ticket also symbolized change, fear, and the unknown – the Khalafs were coming to America as refugees.

Read More. . . . click here

The White House- Remarks by the President

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Remarks by the President on Request to Congress for Authorization of Force Against ISIL

THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon.  Today, as part of an international coalition of some 60 nations — including Arab countries — our men and women in uniform continue the fight against ISIL in Iraq and in Syria.
More than 2,000 coalition airstrikes have pounded these terrorists.  We’re disrupting their command and control and supply lines, making it harder for them to move.  We’re destroying their fighting positions, their tanks, their vehicles, their barracks, their training camps, and the oil and gas facilities and infrastructure that fund their operations.  We’re taking out their commanders, their fighters, and their leaders.

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February 7th, 2015- seeking help

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Seeking Help From Hindu Religious/Spirtual Leader

The meeting was arranged for the 8th. However, as soon as the security was cleared the Yezidis were told that they were going to have a meeting right then and there.

– Honorable Swami Ramdev ji, a religious social political leader who has more than 4 million followers on social media, received the Yezidi delegation and listened intently to their concerns.

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Raising Awareness in India

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Raising Awareness Where the Intellectuals are

The plight of the Yezidis rocks JNU campus in India

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is a name synonymous with leftist intellectualism in India. It is also where pseudo-secularism finds its intellectual legitimacy. Pseudo-secularism thrives on keeping people ignorant about the perils of fanatical Islam and give it an intellectual patronage to keep people blissfully unaware. In more simple words , keep people from knowing the truth and prevent the freedom loving people from uniting against the horrific persecutions by fanatical Islam worldover which is presenting itself as an organized religio-political setup. The common pattern and the goal of this regio-political setup is to isolate ancient communities, make them vulnerable and wipe them off.

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Thus a talk by the Yezidi delegation, comprising of three women leaders from US and Sweden (Gulie, Layla and Mavi) and Mirza Ismail (Chairman of Yezidi Human Rights International ) from Canada, lasting for 3 and half hours (9:30 pm to 1 am in the morning ) , being attended by 150 students at Koyna Mess at JNU , was a historic event to say the least. The Yezidi delegation , was articulate, had powerful speakers and people listed intently to the Yezidi plight inspite of the chilling cold. They empathized with the Yezidis and the Yezidi crisis, something that many had no clue before. They realized the gravity of what fanatical Islam presents to the world and how ugly the world can turn into if it is not addressed right way. They realized for the first time that slavery which the humankind tried hard to remove through the efforts of people like Abraham Lincon, Martin Luther King Junior, Prabhuapada, Bhakti Tirtha Swami and Nelson Madela is being systematically undone by ISIS, starting with women being sold as sex-slaves and rape being used as a weapon of war

It was a meeting that addressed future leaders of the government, decision makers of the future and future politicians. What could have otherwise been dubbed communal if it had been speakers from India , became possible through the voice of young Yezidi leaders , taking up the cause of the community, and has the potential to change the world view of many of the intellectuals of tomorrow in India. Many of these young Yezidi leaders have lost near and dear ones, relatives and friends and it thus became a re-visit of their personal journey, Tales of a journey they had not read in story books, but one they had lived themselves. From the start of the crisis in August 2014, Hindu and Yezidi activists have worked as family to attract the world attention to the cause. They jointly organized the rally at Washington DC, hosted major fundraisers in Chicago, Houston and California. Jewish activists have also joined them in these efforts, as one ancient community trying to help another, and took the lead to organize canvassing efforts for their cause. Other freedom loving communities worldwide like the Zoroastrians have also joined hands. Hindu Spiritual leader His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shanker personally visited Lalish , the holiest place of the Yezidis, met the supreme spiritual leader of the Yezidis Baba Shek and helped to deliver 120 tonnes of supplies. All this was to keep the Yezidis alive in the Shingal (Sinjar) mountains using US army helicopters and through his organization IAHV , till the grip of ISIS was released. Till date 10,000 Yezidi men have been killed in the 74th genocide. 7000 Yezidi women and children have been sold in the market as sex slaves by ISIS and 5,00,000 (half a million) Yezidis are still refugees in Iraq.

Some Islamic fanatics had tried to create a raucus to disrupt the event. One can only salute the spirit of these brave young women who refused to give in to these distractions. The event organized by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the largest student body in India, in just one day’s notice was a stupendous success and a Yezidi-Hindu Intellectual Form is in the offing. ABVP has vowed to extend all possible support to the Yezidis. The Yezidis have the oldest calender in the middle east, which is 6764 yrs old, and believe in Reincarnation just like any other Dharmic faith. Being a distinct religion surrounded by hostile neighbors has caused 74 genocides in the last 1400 yrs and have resulted in the Yezidi population dwindling from 23 million to less than 1 million. The present delegation of the Yezidi leaders is the largest global delegation to visit anywhere ever and has representatives from US, Canada, Sweden , France, Armenia , Iraq and India. Yezidi Nationalists led by the Yezidi National Union and the Yezidi Human Rights Organization International is being prominently represented in the delegation.

The Foreign Minister of India, Sushma Swaraj ji met the present delegation for over 45 minutes and promised all possible help. The present Government in India led by Narendra Modi is taking steps to connect to all communities globally who share the same values, gender equality, belief in mutual respect and equality of humankind, and is trying to stand with them to realize the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – the whole world is one family and protect the fundamental human values from being wiped out by ideologies like ISIS. Values that generations have given their lives for.

Raising Awareness with Niticentral Staff

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Rally at Washington DC to Help Raise Awareness

Yezidis and Hindus from across the US came together at Washington DC to protest the repeated targeting of Yezidis in Middle-East by the terror organisation Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISI


Yezidis from across the US and Canada gathered at Washington for a demonstration at the White House.