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Yazidi Association looking for land

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This article was published 15/04/2019 (1260 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Members of Winnipeg’s Yazidi community are settling into their adopted home and are now looking at their long-term needs.

They are seeking land for use as a cemetery and hope to find it within the RM of Macdonald.
The Yazidi people predominantly come from the Mosul region in northern Iraq, practise one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions and have faced centuries of persecution. Beginning in August 2014, the Yazidis were violently targeted by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Khalil Hesso and Hadji Hesso, president and director of the Yazidi Association of Manitoba respectively spoke to Macdonald council on April 9 and expressed their desire to get an acre or two of land to serve the Winnipeg community of about 510 people.

Andrea Geary (From left) Yazidi Association of Manitoba director Hadji Hesso and president Khalil Hesso spoke to Macdonald council on April 9 about the Winnipeg Yazidi community’s search to find land outside the city for a burial ground.

Hadji said a community member recently died and the family was returning to their homeland to bury their loved one.

Yazidi tradition dictates burial rather than cremation, he said. With over three-quarters of the Yazidi people in Winnipeg living in Fort Garry, Fort Richmond and the southwestern section of the city, land located within Macdonald would allow easy access.

“We want it (the cemetery) outside the city,” Hadji said.

He said Winnipeg’s Yazidi community doesn’t have a permanent place of worship yet but is renting space for services. They expect that in 2020 another 1,000 immigrants will join the approximately 2,100 already living in Canada, and some will likely settle in Winnipeg.

He said the community would accept land adjacent to an existing cemetery and they would plant trees or shrubs or build a fence to separate the two burial grounds. Community members would also maintain the site so there would be no cost to the municipality.

Reeve Brad Erb said council will discuss the matter.

Andrea Geary

Andrea Geary
St. Vital community correspondent

Andrea Geary is a community correspondent for St. Vital and was once the community journalist for The Headliner.

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