Shingal and its Kurds’ suffering
Shingal is located to the west of Mosul, on the Iraqi-Syrian border to the west. The city's population consists of Yazidi Kurds, who comprise more than 80%, with Muslims representing 15% and Christian 5% of the population. Shingal is consider one of the world’s ancient cities. The majority of its people, who are Kurds, has suffered from many genocidal attacks down the centuries by the Ot- toman authorities, including Hafez Pasha and Shah Ahmed's campaign in which more than 16 000 people were killed. In nineteen seventies, the city suffered terrible genocidal attacks by the Baath regime in which city people fled to the mountains and people were collected from Kurdish villages and placed in restricted villages. These ‘villages’, which more closely resembled concentration camps, enabled the authorities to control the Kurds easily as well as forcing a process of Arabization on the Kurds, who also had to change the names of their villages from Kurdish to Arabic. The people of Shingal continued to suffer oppression and injustice under the dictatorial regime until 2003, when the fall of the regime in Baghdad filled them with hope of finally being freed from their oppres- sors. According to Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution, Shingal is an area (like Khanaqeen and Kirkuk) which is disputed by two governments: the regional government and the central government. Its people want to join the regional government in order to secure their rights and the simplest services. In terms of services and projects, according to the statistics, the population of Shingal exceeds 700,000 people who are nonetheless deprived of services and projects. Although Shingal does not fall under the jurisdiction of the regional government, it is still provided with many projects and services like building institutions and paved roads in the regional budget. Majid Esa a Shingali, a young resident, said 'We are facing many problems during winter, the kids face problems getting to school because of the bad conditions of the streets. The schools are old and in need of renovation. We need more schools to be built because of the increasing numbers of students.’ Shingal will not receive full services until the implementation of Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution, appending the city to the regional government--the dream of every Shingali citizen.
Dozens of Yezidi followers celebrates a religious ceremony in Lalish Temple, located in the province of Duhok.