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Posts Tagged ‘assyrian’

At National Public Radio, Rachel Martin reported recently on Music in Exile, an initiative that is providing a certain comfort to displaced musicians and other refugees.

“Alex Ebsary, a member of the Music in Exile team, explains that its mandate is straightforward: ‘What we do is go around, either to refugee camps or to places that we know there will be refugees or internally displaced Iraqis, and try to find musicians,’ he says. ‘They can be anyone, from somebody who knows how to sing a few songs to professionals.’

“One of the musicians featured in the project is Barakat Ali, a Yazidi man who fled from ISIS attacks on his home of Khana Sor. He says the past few years have changed the way he approaches music.

” ‘Sometimes, I feel very sad about what happened to Yazidis,’ he says. ‘So I’m just playing this music and singing to forget myself, to not be so worried and cry about these things. And sometimes I’m crying while singing.’ …

“Hear the full interview at the audio link,” here.

According to Wikipedia, “Yazidism is linked to ancient Mesopotamian religions and combines aspects of Zoroastrianism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism.”

I wish I could learn about these unfamiliar cultures through less tragic events, but I do like to learn something new. A colleague at my old job enlightened me about his Assyrian relatives, who were suffering the same dangers as the Yazidis at about the same time period, 2015.

Assyrians are mainly Christian (Wikipedia again) and speak a modern version of Aramaic. Amazing! Now I am completely confused by Byron’s energizing lines, “The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold …”

History is written by the victors.

Photo: Sasha Ingber
Barakat Ali is a Yazidi refugee and musician who has contributed to the recording project Music in Exile.

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