Prince of Daesh-ravaged Yazidis dies in Germany

The Yazidi faith emerged in Iran more than 4,000 years ago and is rooted in Zoroastrianism, over time integrating elements of Islam and Christianity. (File/AFP)
Updated 28 January 2019

Prince of Daesh-ravaged Yazidis dies in Germany

  • Prince Tahseen Said Ali died in the KRH Siloah hospital in Hanover at the age of 85
  • Born in 1933 in Iraq’s northwest Sheikhan district, he was appointed head of the Yazidis at age 11 after the death of his father

IRBIL, Iraq: The longtime head of the world’s Yazidis, a minority whose Iraqi community was ferociously targeted by the Daesh group, has died in Germany after a long illness, officials said Monday.
Prince Tahseen Said Ali died in the KRH Siloah hospital in Hanover at the age of 85, according to the head of the Iraqi Kurdish region’s head of Yazidi affairs, Khairi Buzani.
Born in 1933 in Iraq’s northwest Sheikhan district, he was appointed head of the Yazidis at age 11 after the death of his father, who was the previous emir.
His son told local media that Prince Tahseen would be buried in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq.
The region’s prime minister, Nechirvan Barzani, sent condolences to Prince Tahseen’s family on Monday.
The Yazidi faith emerged in Iran more than 4,000 years ago and is rooted in Zoroastrianism, over time integrating elements of Islam and Christianity.
With no holy book and organized into castes, Yazidis pray to God facing the sun and worship his seven angels — first and foremost Melek Taus, or Peacock Angel.
Of the world’s 1.5 million Yazidis, around 550,000 were living in the remote corners of northern Iraq where Prince Tahseen was born, and comprised the largest community before 2014.
Germany is home to the biggest Yazidi community abroad.
In 2014, the Daesh group rampaged across northern Iraq and seized the Yazidi bastion of Sinjar, near the border with Syria.
Daesh fighters slaughtered thousands of Yazidi men and boys, then abducted women and girls to be abused as “sex slaves.”
The brutal assault pushed around 360,000 Yazidis to flee to other parts of Iraq, including the Kurdish region, in addition to another 100,000 who left the country altogether.
The United Nations has said Daesh’s actions could amount to genocide, and is investigating the militant group’s atrocities across Iraq.
The Yazidi cause has found a powerful symbol in Nadia Murad, a former Daesh abductee from Sinjar who escaped and went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism against sexual violence.
Murad visited Iraq’s Yazidi heartland of Sinjar last month, as well as Baghdad and the Kurdish regional capital of Irbil, to draw attention to the plight of thousands of abducted Yazidi girls who are still missing.


Lebanon not expecting new aid pledges at Paris meeting

Updated 7 min 56 sec ago

Lebanon not expecting new aid pledges at Paris meeting

  • The political impasse returned to square one on Sunday when a tentative agreement on a new PM unraveled
  • Lebanon has also been in a political impasse since Saad Al-Hariri quit as prime minister on Oct. 29

BEIRUT/PARIS: Lebanon does not expect new aid pledges at conference which France is hosting on Wednesday to press for the quick formation of a new government that can tackle an acute financial crisis.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian urged Lebanon to create a new government swiftly or risk the crisis worsening and threatening the country’s stability.
The economic crisis is the worst since the 1975-90 civil war: a liquidity crunch has led banks to enforce capital controls and the Lebanese pound to slump by one third.
Lebanon has also been in a political impasse since Saad Al-Hariri quit as prime minister on Oct. 29, prompted by protests against the ruling elite, with no agreement on a new government.
Nadim Munla, senior adviser to Hariri, who is running the government as caretaker, told Reuters the Paris meeting would probably signal a readiness to offer support once a government is formed that commits to reforms.
“They will recognize that there is a short-term problem and that if and when a government (is formed) that basically responds to the aspirations of people, most probably the international community will be ready to step in and provide support to Lebanon, or additional support,” he said.
“It is not a pledging conference.”
Lebanon won pledges of over $11 billion at a conference last year conditional on reforms that it has failed to implement. The economic crisis is rooted in years of corruption and waste that have generated one of the world’s heaviest public debt burdens.
The political impasse returned to square one on Sunday when a tentative agreement on a new prime minister unraveled.
Hariri is now seen as the only candidate for the post.
He has said he would only lead a cabinet of specialist ministers, believing this is the way to address the economic crisis, attract aid, and satisfy protesters who have been in the streets since Oct. 17 seeking the removal of a political class blamed for corruption and misrule.
But Hezbollah and its allies including President Michel Aoun say the government must include politicians.
“Let’s see the coming few days and if there will be an agreement among the political parties on a formation ... otherwise we might take longer,” Munla said. Hariri would be willing to have politicians in cabinet but they should not be “the regular known faces of previous governments.”