In memory of Pir Xidir, a great intellectual, a generous man, an example for the Yazidi and for the world, a dear friend.
I wish to express my deep sorrow for the sudden loss of my friend Pir Xidir, the most important intellectual voice of the #Yazidi. His dear wife Khiyal and his children are in my heart and mind.
I shall always be grateful to Pir Xidir and his family for having welcomed me in their home in Iraqi Kurdistan and in Oldenburg in Germany several times, together with my son Giulio. I shall always be grateful to Pir Xidir for having shared with me the story of his life, his profound thoughts about the Yazidi culture and religion, for having been a guide in understanding the Yazidi society.
I am grateful to him for having been a guide, introducing me to many Yazidi high representatives and people, sharing his food with me, taking me to different places, donating me his knowledge and wisdom.
I have shared with him very important moments in my life, for instance when we visited together some women victims of #Daesh who made them slaves, who were saved in very adventurous ways and were trying to restart their life.
I remember the visits to the Yazidi refugee camps with Pir Xidir who was tirelessly helping people in despair.
I remember going through the precious archives of Yazidi documents in the Yazidi cultural center in Duhok.
I remember participating in festivals and events, in the #JazhnaJamaye - the most important festival of the Yazidi - in 2013, just before the persecution by Daesh.
I remember the dinner in the home of your friend Miskin on the hill in #Lalish, dear Pir Xidir, where we slept with all the family in the open air under the stars after dancing and singing until late. I was filming my film "The Denied Yazidi Festival" - https://youtu.be/08l8lR5zOqY - in which you are a protagonist, explaining the core teachings of Yazidism and the complexity of Yazidi society in contemporary times.
Always smiling, always ready to be serene, always kind and generous to everyone (you hosted Yazidi refugee families from Shingal in your home for months), a loving husband and a supporting father.
You cared for young generations so much that you created books for children to teach them the Yazidi culture and perpetuate its principles in the future. What a wonderful gift to the world.
I have tried to show my reconnaissance to you when I gave you a prize during the Festival "Mondoreligioni" that I organised in Rome in 2018. Just a small gesture for a great man.
I shall always see you in my mind wearing your fur hat, cooking for me and Giulio in the Kurdish winter one of your soups with a pinch of turmeric to make them more colourful.
I shall think about you, dear Pir Xidir, as the young Yazidi student in the 1970s, one of the very first who went to the University in Bagdad starting an intellectual journey that gave Yazidism the opportunity to define itself and its place in the world.
Without that young man, the young Pir Xidir, the Yazidi would not have been able to resist the horrible persecution by Daesh (the 74th in their history) and would have not been able to transform themselves from victims into social agents, global agents, as I have affirmed in many of my writings.
There is only one thing that makes me rejoice: the fact that you passed away in your beloved land, that your simple grave made of stone looks far away, beyond the Kurdish mountains.
You were a righteous man Pir Xidir, my dear friend. I can see you smile now, and I can hear you whisper a Yazidi song that I have not yet heard.