Yazidis in Armenia remember their dead

The Yazidi community in Armenia remembered their dead in the town of Armavir and Aygeshatt village. Religious scholars recited Qawl, the women sang lamentations.

As on every 20th of September, the Yazidi community in the western Armenian town Armawir and the Kurdish-Yazidi village of Aygeshatt came together for a collective commemoration of their dead. Kurdish-Yazidi citizens and Russian immigrants took part in the event.

The community first remembered their dead at the Charkatanmartin Cemetery where religious scholars spoke prayers and recited qawls. The Qawls, like poetry, are lyrically written and, above all, enhance the effect of remembering. The women sang Yazidi lamentations. After visiting the cemetery, the community organized a funeral meal.

Speaking to ANF, Rostem Hasoyan, a member of the Kurdistan Committee in Armavir, said: "This joint meal is not just a memorial to the people buried here. We also remind of our dead in Shengal, Kobane and Afrin and commemorate those who hurried from the mountains and prevented the total genocide in Shengal and lost their lives in the liberation of our homeland.

ISIS perpetrated a massive massacre in Shengal. They abducted women and young girls and killed children. However, the Kurds treat the 70,000 captured ISIS members as our human values ​​expect and fulfill their needs. This shows how much these values ​​are important to us.

As long as we form a unity and treat each other in solidarity, the enemy cannot harm us. That is why it is very important to achieve unity. Every person should live up to his responsibilities."

In the 1830s the first Yazidis from Northern Kurdistan came to Eastern Armenia belonging to the Russian Empire after the end of the Russian-Turkish War in 1828/29. In 1855, about 340 Yazidis were counted in Armavir. Several thousand Anatolian Yazidis were settled in the region at the end of the 19th century, including in the province of Shirak. In 1912, more than 17,000 Yazidis lived in what is now Armenia. At the 2001 census, their number was 40,000. In 2011, they accounted for 1.1 percent of the total population, the largest minority in the country. Their cultural center in the province of Aragazotn was the village of Eleges (Alagyaz) in the Soviet period.