Yezidis in Syria: Identity Building among a Double Minority

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Yezidis in Syria: Identity Building among a Double Minority traces the development of Yezidi identity on the margins of Syria’s minority context. This little known group is connected to the community’s main living area in northern Iraq, but evolved as a separate identity group in the context of Syria’s colonial, national, and revolutionary history. Always on the bottom of the socio-economic hierarchy, the two sub-groups located in the Kurdagh and the Jezira experience a period of sociological and theological renewal in their quest for a recognized and protected status in the new Syria. In this book, Sebastian Maisel transmits and analyzes the Yezidi perspective on Syria’s policies towards ethnic and religious minorities.

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About the Author:

Sebastian Maisel is associate professor of Arabic and Middle East studies at Grand Valley State University.

Review:

This important and timely work fills a lacuna that has long been felt by students of Yezidism and others. It offers a thorough, scholarly, and much-needed account of the current position of the Yezidis in Syria, their religion, and historical background. The book makes a major contribution to Yezidi studies. (Philip G. Kreyenbroek, Georg-August University)

There is still great need for research, especially on aspects of Yezidism as practiced by different local communities. Maisel’s book focuses on identity issues among the Yezidis in Syria, a double minority group which constructed two distinct local identities in past decades, but is now moving towards a unified one. Thus this book is very welcome since it contributes to our knowledge of the current situation of the Yezidi community in Syria. (Khanna Omarkhali, Georg-August University, Göttingen)

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