PM Barzani Congratulates Kakai’s Qultas Day
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Friday issued a congratulatory statement to the Kakai community for the Qultas holiday.
"On the occasion of the Qultas Day, I extend my warmest congratulations and blessings to our Kaka'i (Yarsan) sisters and brothers in Kurdistan, Iraq, and the world. I wish them a feast full of joy, happiness, and peace," the Prime Minister said.
He noted the pivotal role of the Kakais throughout history by “actively participating in the struggle and sacrifice of the Kurdish people,” and called them “an indigenous community of Kurdistan.”
Barzani concluded his statement by reiterating the importance of protecting the rights of the Kakais in the Kurdistan Region.
Kakais follow Yarsanism, a religion founded in the late 14th century in what is now western Iran, and primarily reside in Iran, Iraq, and Turkey. Members residing in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq’s disputed territories are usually considered ethnic Kurds.
Having suffered religious persecution for many years, both historically and in recent decades, members of the community have often sought to avoid attention by keeping their practices relatively secret. While exact figures are unknown, it is estimated that at least 100,000 Kakais live in various parts of the country, mostly in the disputed territories.
They are among the many minorities in Iraq that have been systematically targeted by the Islamic State, but have not garnered the same level of news coverage and attention as other more well-known groups. A significant number of Kakai families evacuated their villages in Kirkuk’s Daquq district following the militant group’s rise to prominence in 2014.
They eventually took up arms and, along with Kurdish Peshmerga forces, held the frontline against militants of the terrorist organization that continued to operate in surrounding areas, even as Baghdad retook the country.