Yezidi Studies Center

The Yezidis, members of a community of believers in the ancient religion of Yezidism, see themselves as a distinct group with shared beliefs and histories who originated in Mesopotamia that flourished and survived over the centuries despite the pressure and attacks from neighboring Muslim groups. Their homeland is in the Nineveh Plains from where they migrated, sometimes forcefully to other regions in present-day Turkey, Syria and further north towards Armenia, Georgia and Russia. Today, Yezidi families can also be found in Germany, the USA, and Australia, building a diaspora community that never broke ties with the homeland. They all share basic religious beliefs and rituals that are centered on God, the angels and certain holy men and practices. Tausi Melek and Lalish are at the heart of the worship, which is enriched by many local practices and beliefs.


How to write: Yezidis, Yazidis, Ezidi, Jesiden, Êzidî, ئێزیدی, ეზიდები, եզդիներ, Езиды, Yezidiler?Many different forms of spelling and pronouncing the name of the community can be found in publications, reports, interviews, etc. This goes back to the issue of multilingualism, or the main language of the area that a community lives in, such as Arabic in Iraq and Syria, Turkish in Turkey and Armenian, Georgian or Russian in those countries. Even Yezidis in Germany have developed a particular form of naming the community. It also reflects on the issue of identity and self-identification. Historical sources provide us with additional names and denominations. Currently, a trend is observed to follow the Kurdish spelling, Ezidi. However, we recognize the spelling of Yezidi as a common spelling in the English-speaking academic research literature and publications, and we will gradually shift to spelling that is preferred by the majority of the community.