Top Kurdistan officials offer condolences on passing of Yezidi religious leader
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – High-ranking officials in the Kurdistan Region extended their condolences on the passing of Yezidi (Eizid) spiritual leader Baba Sheikh who passed away at 87 on Thursday evening at a hospital in the Kurdistan Region's Erbil province.
Masoud Barzani, Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader, wrote in a statement that Baba Sheikh was “instrumental resolving the issues among the Yezidi brothers and sisters” and had “always been charitable.”
Born in Duhok province’s Sheikhan district to a religious family, Baba Sheikh rose to the highest position in the Ezidi faith and was the custodian of Lalish Temple, its holiest site of worship.
The loss of Baba Sheikh at this time, said Barzani, is a “big disaster” as he was a “religious and moral symbol.”
Following a sudden deterioration in his health, the leader was admitted to hospital in Duhok before being transferred to Erbil to be placed in an intensive care unit.
Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzan issued his own statement on Thursday, remembering the religious leader's life long efforts in serving the greater Ezidi community.
Baba Sheikh’s “remarkable role in coexistence and diversity is prominent,“ added the regional president.
Earlier in the day, Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani wrote in a tweet, “His teachings of forgiveness and coexistence were crucial to the recovery of the Yezidi community, women especially, from one of its cruelest chapters.”
I join the Yazidi people in Kurdistan and the world over in mourning the passing of their spiritual leader Baba Sheikh. His teachings of forgiveness and co-existence were crucial to the recovery of the Yazidi community, women especially, from one of its cruellest chapters -mb.— Masrour Barzani پابەندین# (@masrour_barzani) October 1, 2020
Soon after the announcement of Baba Sheikh's death, statements of remembrance and respect were released by individuals, governments, and organizations from across the globe.
There are about one million Ezidis worldwide, with almost half of them living in Iraq and the autonomous Kurdistan Region.
Editing by John J. Catherine