Iraqi Yazidis take medical clowning course in Israel
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Iraqi Yazidis take medical clowning course in Israel

Foreign Ministry, British charity facilitate arrival of group from persecuted community; hope it will help them put smiles on faces of traumatized kids

A group of Yazidis from Iraq (with their backs to the camera) together with Israeli trainers who gave them a course on medical clowning, June 2018. (Israel's Foreign Ministry)
A group of Yazidis from Iraq (with their backs to the camera) together with Israeli trainers who gave them a course on medical clowning, June 2018. (Israel's Foreign Ministry)

A group of Yazidis has recently traveled to Israel from Iraq and taken a course in medical clowning, with the goal of helping traumatized children from persecuted minorities in the war-ravaged country.

The course was prepared by Dram Doctors, an organization that trains medical clowns, as well as the UK-based Road to Peace charity, Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital and Israel’s Foreign Ministry, the ministry said in a statement Sunday.

“The participants in the special training left Israel during the weekend with new tools and techniques that will help them put smiles on the faces of people who live in war zones, regardless of their ethnicity, religion or gender,” the Foreign Ministry said.

Road to Peace, which the ministry said had facilitated the arrival of the Yazidis to Israel, was established in 2014 to help build alliances between communities in conflict zones and help provide medical treatment to sick and wounded children.

The organization recently established a unit to treat kids in the region of Sinjar in northern Iraq, directed by Jewish humanitarian Sally Becker.

Yazidi refugee camps in Duhok province, August, 2016. (IsraAID)

In 2014, the Islamic State terror group killed thousands of Yazidis in Sinjar and kidnapped thousands of the community’s women and girls as sex slaves.

As of November 2017, the United Nations estimated that 3,000 of them were still being held captive. In March, officials dealing with genocide and religious leaders said 3,154 Yazidis were missing, including 1,471 women and girls.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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