December 14th marks Îda Êzî, the annual Yazidi holy fest. The most important Yazidi holiday, Îda Êzî stands for peace and reconciliation. For a religion that has endured 72 genocides, today is a day in which the community comes together in hope of a better future. Yazidi’s mark the fest by wearing white clothing. Without a holy book, traditions such as these keep the Yazidi faith alive.

Women at the HAWAR.help Women’s Empowerment Center played their own special role in the holiday this year. Over the last month, Muslim, Yazidi and Christian women sewed white clothes in preparation for the holiday. Yesterday they distributed the clothing to their Yazidi neighbors in the IDP camp in a powerful symbol of hope and solidarity.

Supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and GIZ, the Back to Life project empowers 840 women of diverse faiths living in an IDP camp outside of Duhok, Iraq in their journey to accomplishing a self sustaining livelihood.

Hope and light are stronger than darkness. The power and resilience of these women is remarkable.