Published: 13th April 2017
These Yazidi children managed to escape the genocide by ISIS in Iraq. But what they did next will surprise you
Having escaped the genocide in Sinjar, Iraq, these young victims who are now refugees in Sharya, Kurdistan, have come up with a music video that talks about their will to keep moving on
Bright, happy, and positive aren’t words you would normally associate with the survivors of a genocide. But the music video, We Will Live On, put together by these young survivors of the Yazidi genocide will have you reconsider this as the horrors they’ve been through don’t feature. That's what hope does. It gives you something to look forward to. Most of these children are orphans; some whose families are slaves and some who have been kidnapped by ISIS. Miraculously, they've escaped the genocide in Sinjar, Iraq, and now seek refuge in Sharya, Kurdistan.
New Hope: The first rap music video on Yazidi genocides 'We will live on'
We've got to break this fountain of hate. No more genocides, no more feeling petrified. Only happiness and sunshine. I'm telling you that it's gonna be all right… the song goes. Aside from pictures of the young victims whose smiles permeate the soul, the video also includes short audio clips of the Director of the Yazidi Cultural Centre and a Yazidi religious leader who talk about the torture their community has endured over the years.
Produced by Siraj Davis, a Japanese-American teacher, the rap video hopes to create awareness about the persecution of the Yazidi, a community that has survived 72 genocides even before the creation of ISIS. "These kids are focussed on working towards a brighter future, not the tragedy around them. Some don’t even have access to school. A few of them actually live in an abandoned school where most of the video was shot," says Siraj, who works with the Yazidi refugees in Kurdistan.
These kids are focussed on working towards a brighter future, not the tragedy around them. Some don’t even have access to school. A few of them actually live in an abandoned school where most of the video was shot
Siraj Davis, Teacher at the American International School of Kurdistan
Talking about the lack of monetary support, Siraj says, "Most of the artists I approached were asking for an obscene amount of money. They didn't want to do it for humanity sake. But thankfully, Ortega the Omega and other artists performed for free and I was able to promote it via their large followings." The other music artists were Arman Ashki Hussain, Teslim Wadya, and Mohammed Reza, students from the American International School of Kurdistan, where Siraj teaches.
As the song ends, the only thing these children can tell themselves and the world is that they… Gotta stay strong and learn to survive. Wipe the tears, it'll be all right. I'm telling you, it'll be all right.