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She Risked It All to Save Her People. Will the World Remember Them?

08-08-2016
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viandakhil

ERBIL, Iraq -- Christians aren't the only ones facing extinction in the Middle East. ISIS has also committed genocide against ethnic Yazidis.

The  world has finally taken notice, thanks to the tireless efforts of one member of the Iraqi Parliament. She is once again reminding the world to help this ancient religious community.

'Slaughtered Families'

The world took notice after lawmaker Vian Dakhil's impassioned plea to save fellow Yazidis, trapped on Iraq's Sinjar Mountain.

"Our families have been slaughtered. Set aside your political differences. In the name of humanity, I call upon all of you to save us, to save us!" Dakhil cried out.

It was August 2014. Islamic State fighters overran Yazidi villages around Sinjar and Zummar, near the Mosul Dam.

Men were slaughtered, women and children kidnapped. The jihadists forced boys to join ISIS, while girls were raped, bought and sold for sex.

The United States responded to Dakhil's cry of desperation, airlifting supplies to Sinjar Mountain. Help was delivered to as many as 10,000 Yazidis who had fled ISIS.

As her people died from thirst and hunger, Dakhil traveled to Sinjar to personally deliver food and water. When she left the mountain, many Yazidis frantically boarded her departing helicopter.

Dangerously overweight, the helicopter crashed.

CBN News asked Dakhil, "Were you hurt, were you injured badly?"

"Yeah, my leg it was broken completely and I remember after my  leg [was] broken,  my rib and my head and shoulders," she explained.

A Forgotten People?

Dakhil is healed now and doing well. Was risking her life and suffering personal injury worth it?

"Yes, of course. Yes," she said. "Those are my people. In general, those are human beings and some terrorists come and kill them."

And Christians, including CBN, were among the first providing relief.

"The Christian groups, or the Christian community, they help the Yazidi people. Yeah, help them," Dakhil said.

Now, two years later, as world attention focuses on immigration, Dakhil is renewing her call for assistance. She says the Yazidis still need help rebuilding their lives and cities in Iraq.

"We need someone to pray for the Yazidi people and another to help them, and another to focus for the situation for the Yazidi because sometime the people forget what happened," she insisted.

Forgetting that 400,000 Yazidis still live in tents as refugees, often enduring harsh weather conditions.

"Still we have a thousand boys between 6 to 10 years (who) are captive in the special place in Mosul, wash the brain of them, and teaching them to use the weapon. And to become a new generation, to become terrorists, a new generation of terrorists for ISIS," Dakhil explained.

Girls Living a Hell on Earth

And ISIS still holds 3,500 Yazidi females captive. Dakhil says fortunately, 2,000 girls and children have escaped. But she said they need psychological therapy.

"This is the situation now after two years. And nobody cares," she said.

Hoping to raise awareness and help, Dakhil's sister Deelan started the Sinjar Foundation. As a medical doctor, she has treated Yazidi girls who either escaped or were rescued from ISIS.

Deelan told CBN News about a 16-year-old girl who was raped several times after one jihadist traded her to another for a cigarette.

"I also have the mother who told me about her own 9-year-old girl who had been raped in front of her eyes that bleeded to death. We are hearing terrible stories every day," Deelan said.

Many of the girls have suffered physical abuse and torture. Deelan says their emotional scars could last a lifetime.

"Actually they are released from hell to another hell, to come to live in a community and a tent in refugee camps and most of their family members have been either kidnapped or killed in front of their eyes," she explained.

She says the Yazidi girls and their families need therapy. She wants American psychologists specializing in trauma to teach Iraqis how to help them.

A Call to Prayer

Deelan says she, too, may need counseling.

"These stories will stay with me for the whole of my life," she explained. "I spent many nights when I didn't sleep and I cried until the morning. To be honest, I am traumatized as well."
 
CBN News asked her if Christians should pray for the Yazidi girls.

"Of course, of course it would be great. They are emotionally affected, anything would help them, of course. Praying would be a great thing to do," she replied.

They are voices for a voiceless people: two sisters requesting prayer and help for the Yazidis, an ethnic religious people the world now says are victims of ISIS genocide.

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