Three Years from the Day that Changed Everything

August 3, 2014. 

It was a day where, in one small corner of the world, all hope and light was lost. Darkness shrouded the mountain and countless men, women, and children were killed, raped, kidnapped, tortured, sold, or worse. 

Life went on in Washington, D.C. and Denver, in Istanbul and London. Things carried on as normal in the Pacific Islands and in Shanghai. 

But on Sinjar, nothing was normal, or at least not what anyone's normal should be. Unfortunately, for the Yezidis who call Sinjar home, the attempt to send their people into oblivion was not new. 

The Yezidis have faced more than 70 attempts to wipe their people off the face of the earth, and yet through their resilience and strength, they survive.  

Three years ago today the world started to see the shadows of a group that would come to be synonymous with evil, but on Sinjar, the people felt that darkness more than they believed light would ever return. 

For three years families have wandered, or lived in tents. Kids have not returned to school, fathers have not found new work. Identities have been shattered and dreams forsaken. 

Yet, at the same time, in the last three years, new friendships have formed, new babies have learned to walk, and young loves have celebrated their first and second anniversaries. Because, as the Yezidis know and show the world, life goes on. 

There is so much we can learn from these people: In the wake of darkness, light does rise again. When hope seems gone, one needs to hold on a little longer. With someone to hold our hand, we can survive anything. 

But today isn't about learning. It's about crying. It's about weeping with our friends, it's about screaming out the injustice of it all, it's about reaching out for a hand, even if you've never met a Yezidi or don't even know where Sinjar is.

Today is about caring that the darkness exists and promising that tomorrow you'll be part of bringing the light. 

And we need more light. Though some has broken through the darkness, many shadows still remain. The questions of whether or not families will be able to return home, or if their children will ever get a diploma and go to university plague many families. For others, they are waiting for the ticket out of the country, or the right job with the right organization that will change their lives. 

They've survived. It's their turn to thrive, to love life, to live fully. 

Let's cry today, and let's shine light tomorrow. 


EDGE is committed to drowning out the shadows with light by providing gap-filling educational opportunities for kids and families who have been displaced by ISIS. We are continually inspired by the families and kids we work with and their desire to believe something better exists. We want to make sure that is true. 

Kylie Barker