The compelling story of how an Iraqi beekeeper saved the lives of Yazidi women sold into slavery by Isis
We know and yet we don’t really know. News reports in 2014 told us of the desperate plight of the Yazidis, a small religious minority who had lived clustered around the northern Iraqi city of Sinjar and its mountain for thousands of years. They were being driven out of their homes and villages by the advance of Muslim fundamentalists they knew as Daesh, or Islamic State.
The figures were stark: over 3,000 Yazidis, mainly men and the elderly, were summarily executed and dumped in mass graves, while more than 6,000 women were kidnapped and sold by Isis as sex slaves. We were horrified. We demanded action of our governments, which made the right noises but did little. And so, after a bevy of experts surfaced briefly to explain that the Yazidis are not “devil worshippers”, as Isis claims, but rather an ancient religious group whose credo combines elements of Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Zoroastrianism, our attention moved on.
The movements of the queen bee made me profoundly appreciate all the women in my life