House for coexistence in the Ezidi region

Shingal, Ninewa- August 2021: The house is built by donation from Mirza Dinnayi, an Ezidi writer and activist, Aurora Humanitarian Award 2019 laureate.

By Ammar Aziz in Ninewa

The center for coexistence built in the war-torn Ezidi region has to turn into a cultural center and a platform for the young generation from all sects and ethnicities.

The project is funded by Mirza Dinnayi, an Ezidi writer and activist, Aurora Humanitarian Award  2019 laureate. Building the house in the sub-district of Sinuny of Shingal District, Mosul, has started in November 2020 and supposed to be inaugurated end of the year.

"The project is almost over; it will be opened end of the year. The cohabit center will become a cultural and social center for our young people," Dinnayi told KirkukNow.

"It was a dream of mine to have such a center in Shingal where we want to revive hope for people and urge the young generation to rebuild the region."

Dinnayi, born in Shingal in 1973, son of Agha for Dinnayi tribe family, is known as the director and co-founder of the Luftbrücke Irak (Air Bridge Iraq), an non-governmental organization Ngo which helped over 150 Ezidi victims of the Iraq war, rescued women and children from the ISIS-controlled territories and transferred them to germany, where they received medical care.

In October 2019, Dinnayi received the Aurora Award for Awakening Humanity. As the laureate, he could choose 3 organizations to share the $1 million prize. Dinnayi picked Air Bridge Iraq, SEED Foundation and the Shai Fund.

The area of the project is 1200 square meters: three stores will embrace four conference halls where trainings can be held for rehabilitation of the youth about co-living, beside a café, theatre, Roman theatre and a big garden.   

"This is a little initiative which needs support of all classes of the community as all organizations and societies, governmental and non-governmental can use for cultural events and promotion of peace and tolerance in the community," Dinnayi proudly said.  

Dinnayi has chosen Sinuny because there is no such a center in a region where 200,000 locals live in the region.

Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity is an annual international humanitarian award recognizing individuals for humanitarian work. It is awarded on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian genocide.

The Aurora Prize ceremonies take place annually in Armenia starting from April 24, 2016. The Laureate of the prize receives a US$1,000,000 award they can use to support the organizations they find inspiring.

Shingal is one of the disputed territories between Erbil-based Kurdistan Regional Government KRG and Iraqi government. It is home for Ezidi ethno-religious minority whom the Jihadist fighters of so-called Islamic State ISIS accuse of being infidels.

In August 2104, ISIS took control of significant cities of the north, committing atrocities mounted to genocidal acts against the Ezidi community, over 550,000 people, centered around their centuries-old ancestral home of Shingal.

Over 360,000 fled to Mount Shingal and Kurdistan region and almost 100,000 migrated aborad. About 100,000 are still living in 26 IDP camp in Duhok Northern province.

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