Usually in this little corner of the world called Thoughts Towards a Better World I have one or two opinions in progress.  As I write this is the 7th in the draft file.  It is that kind of week.

I title this one “Relationships”.

Top of the list is the U.S. Intelligence Community Assessment on Foreign Threats to the 2020 U.S. Federal Elections.  You can read it here.   Just Above Sunset summarizes its findings in last nights post, “From Russia With Love”.   These are not Twitter-length.  Take some time to at least scan through them.

Then there is the tragic murder spree in Georgia, which left 8 people, 6 who were Asian-American, and 7 women, dead.  And the resurgence of fear-mongering about foreigners coming across the border, especially from Mexico and Central America.  It is all about fear, period.

Personally, this week, I had a chance to take a mini-deep dive into the humanitarian crisis of the YAZIDI’s of Iraq.  Last week I watched on-line the film, “On Her Shoulders” about a young Yazidi woman, Nadia Murad, who has become the face of her beleaguered people, threatened with extinction by ISIS in northwest Iraq.

Nadia was a co-winner of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, and her website, Nadia’s Initiative, is here.  The film is available on Amazon Prime and is well worth your time.

Thursday night, 15 of us engaged in conversation with Abid Shamdeen, Yazidi, who is Executive Director of Nadia’s Initiative.   He, like Nadia, was very impressive, and informative.

One aspect of the story that most engaged me was the Yazidi religious philosophy, which seems well described in a Huffpost article seven years back.  At the time, the article estimated Yazidi’s to number about 600,000 (roughly the population of North Dakota).  Their natural area was in northwest Iraq, in the area of Mt. Sinjar.  They are neither Christian nor Muslim nor any other commonly known religion and this made them a target of ISIS.

Each of us who had the opportunity to see the film, and to meet Abid on-line would have our own individual impressions, and I hope some of the folks will share their impressions as comments here.

For me, I saw in Nadia a young woman thrust into a leadership role flowing out of violent and tragic circumstances.  History is full of unsung heroes like Nadia – people who didn’t intend to become noted; people who often perished in the process.  Her life script, as she articulated it herself, did not have her testifying at the United Nations, or receiving a Nobel Peace Prize.

Then there is the matter of being a refugee.  For the Yazidi’s, outside of their neighboring countries,  Germany was a major destination.   The Norwegian Refugee Council has a very interesting graphic about refugees, which you can access here.  Note how the U.S. compares.

There are many opportunities to learn from the above, and other current and past events.

We’re in all sorts of relationships, from personal, to community, to state, to nation, to the entire planet.  We’re in this world together.


from Gail: Personally, I thought that “On Her Shoulders” was the most boring documentary I’ve ever seen – just Nadia speaking at various places, saying the same thing.  I hadn’t been aware of the plight of the Yazdis, so I appreciate the film for that; but it could have been so much more interesting and informative if it had provided a broader context.

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