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After The Fall:
Visiting The Yazidi Temple, Two Years After Extremist Attacks

Local photographer Sangar Bakr went to meet Yazidi worshippers at their temple in Lalish, in northern Iraq, on the two year anniversary of attacks by the extremist Islamic State group.
4.08.2016  |  Erbil

This week saw people of the ethno-religious Yazidi group mark the second anniversary of a devastating attack on their towns by the extremist group known as the Islamic State.

Those who managed to escape the Islamic State, or IS, group, either before the attack, or after, may still find solace in their religion, a mostly secretive and complicated code of behaviour and worship known only to members of the group themselves.

To commemorate the two-year anniversary of the tragedy of Iraq's Yazidi people, photographer Sangar Bakr, visited the Yazidi temple complex in Lalish, which is about four hours from Erbil, the capital city of the semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan. Lalish, which is the most important shrine for Yazidis everywhere, is also close to Mosul, the northern city that has become a stronghold for the IS group and the place where they took many of their Yazidi captives.

Bakr was able to document the progress of a group of young women during their weekly visit to the temple. These women had managed to flee to safety before the IS group approached; friends who were with them had not been so lucky but did not want their photos taken.