After suffering at the hands of Islamic State group militants and being chased from their homes, two Yazidi families arrived in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Tuesday in an effort initiated and sponsored by the local Jewish community.
The four-member Dakheel family and the Salih family of 11 were greeted by community volunteers with welcome signs and applause at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport on Tuesday, Michel Aziza, a member of the Winnipeg Jewish Community and a co-founder of the Operation Ezra coalition told The Times of Israel.
The families were privately sponsored by Operation Ezra, a multi-faith coalition that originally began as a grassroots effort initiated by the local Jewish community and then expanded to included several local organizations.
In July, Operation Ezra brought the first two privately sponsored Yazidi refugee families to Canada.
Yazidis are an ethnically Kurdish religious minority who have suffered at the hands of IS. During a systematic campaign against the Yazidis in 2014 in Sinjar, near Mosul, an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 civilians were killed and 5,000 to 7,000 abducted and enslaved, most of them women and children, according to the Global Yazidi Organization.
The Canadian government allows for private sponsorship of refugees, but dictates that sponsors are 100% financially responsible for the refugees for the first 12 months after their arrival in the country. After that, the government bears financial responsibility for the families if needed. Operation Ezra also aims to help integrate those families into the community so that they can eventually sustain themselves.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.