The public library of the Kaka’is in Kirkuk northern province has been temporarily shut in the face of the readers due to lack of funding and cooling system in a summer that temperature records 50 Celsius degrees.
Ali Saray library in the settlement of Rizgari, home to the Kaka’is, of Daquq district, 44 km south west of Kirkuk northern province, was founded in 2003, and folds 3,000 titles.
“There were no enough equipment including air cooler and we are in a critical financial condition to provide its necessities so we deiced to shut it temporarily,” said Rajab Assi, a Kaka’i civic activist and founder of the sole library of the Kaka’is,
The July-August heat weather gave the shutdown a big push as it has ranged between 45-50 Celsius degree.
Kaka'i, Ahl al-Haq or Yarsanism, is a secretive monotheist spiritual religion which has not been officially recognized in the Iraqi constitution. Their villages are a target for extremist Islamic militants whom persecuted them as “idol worshippers.”
The religious minorities of Kak'is and Ezidis are residing the disputed territories of Mosul, Kirkuk and Diyalah. Unlike Ezidi, Christian and other religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq who are represented under quota bill in Iraqi and Kurdistan parliament, no quota seat has been allocated for the Kaka’is who, join the key political parties and parliamentary lists in order to be represented.
Young locals are saddened by the procedure as they lost one of the few options of cultural public space they freely attended for reading and cultural events.
“We are sad for the closure. I made a good use of the books to get my degree,” said Lanya Mohammed, a resident of Rizgari and graduate of college of Education of the University of Kirkuk.
“I hope a party NGOs or can aid them to open it soon since it is the only library for the town and surrounding villages.”
Readers from 20 villages were heading to Ali Saray library to attend art and cultural events.
Haidar Arkan, is a lute player. He misses the days he was playing “Oud” in the library.
“It was very clam there so I was playing music there as training and also we were holding music and diverse activities.”
Rajab has founded the public library in the village of Ali Saray yet following the attacks by the militants of so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria ISIS, the library was relocated into the settlement of Rizgari in June 2014.
Kaka'is are based in Kirkuk, Diayalah, Ninawa and Sulaymaniyah as well. Unofficial figures show they are estimated at 100,000 people.