Eight Months have Passed.... Ezidi Couple Await PM's Present

Samia Samo and Dakhil Hassan meet again after nine years of separation and renew their marriage ceremonies, Dohuk, June 2023. Ammar Aziz

By KirkukNow in Duhok

Eight months have passed, as the spouses Dakhil and Samia are still waiting to receive the housing unit that the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government KRG, Masrour Barzani, promised them.

The promised gift came after the Yazidi couple were reunited and renewed their marriage vows after nine years of separation.

Samia was among many Yazidi women who were enslaved by the extremist militants of the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria- ISIS", which took over Shingal (Sinjar) district, home for the non-muslim Ezidi (Yazidi) community and large swathes of Iraq in August 2014, before she escaped captivity in June 2023 and was returned to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region IKR, where most of the Internally Displaced People IDPs stay to meet again with her husband, Dakhil Hassan.

“I thank the prime minister for gifting us a housing unit, but we hope that it will be completed soon so that we can put an end to camp life, because it is very difficult,” said Dakhil Hassan, who spent nine years waiting for the return of Samia, with whom he currently lives in Qadiya camp for IDPs in Dohuk Northern Province.

On July 5, 2023, a month after Dakhil and Samia were reunited, the spokesman for the Prime Minister of the KRG, Peshwa Hawrami, announced in a statement that “The Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Masrour Barzani, decided to give Dakhil and Samia a housing unit as a wedding gift in exchange for their loyalty and love.”

But to date, March 7, 2024, the couple has not received their gift.

Dakhil said, "I signed the contract to receive the apartment and it is now registered in my name …. but the project has not been completed yet, so we have not received it yet and we are still living in the camp."

On August 3, 2014, ISIS attacked Shingal, took control of the city and surrounding villages, took 6,417 Ezidis (Yazidis) as captives, including women and children, the fate of more than 2,600 abductees is still unknown.

Samia and Dakhil with the Prime Minister of the Regional Government, Masrour Barzani, Erbil 2023. Media of the KRG Council of Ministers

The residential unit gifted to Dakhil and Samia is located within the Lalaf City project in the Domiz complex in the Fayda district.

Ziyar Amin, an employee in the Lalaf City project, told Kirkuk Now, “Dakhil and Samia’s apartment was completed a long time ago, but the reason why the keys were not handed over to them is that the paving of the streets inside the project was not completed due to the rain. We apologize to them, and God willing, they will be able to receive the apartment in one Month."

Dakhil and Samia are from Shingal, but they do not plan to return to their hometown and they had the idea of migrating abroa.

“We used to break our fast by immigrating to Australia, but getting there is difficult at the present time, so we prefer to stay now in Kurdistan,” according to Dakhil. Hassan.

Kidnapped Yazidi girls and women faced torture, slavery and sexual assault by the extremist militants of IS, after being trafficked, and the children of the religious community were forcibly recruited after forcing them to convert to Islam.

In the attacks of ISIS; 1,293 civilian Yazidis were killed, 68 shrines were destroyed and over 80 mass graves have been discovered, an atrocity that forced 450,000 to leave their homelands.

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