“When Lalish came, plants began to grow on earth, and all admired the beautiful land.” — Yazidi Saying
Lalish Temple is the holiest site for the Yazidi people, who consider it the place where the world began. There, it is believed, the earth transformed to a verdant landscape following its creation.
The field trip started with screams of joy as the two buses full of kids headed to Lalish Temple. On the way, the kids danced, celebrated, and sang songs with the images of the Temple in their heads. They were excited to have the chance to visit their religion’s holiest site. Despite the cold weather in the valley of Lalish Temple, the kids were eager to walk around. They went to Zam Zam Spring, which is believed to flow with holy water, and the cave where Sheik Adi Musafar is said to be buried. Sheik Musafar, referred to as the reformer, is considered one of holiest spirits among Yazidi. In Zam Zam Spring, the kids were told about the place and its significance to the Yazidi. For TentED and EDGE Institute, teaching refugee children about their history and culture is an important component of their education.
In December, 50 displaced Yazidi children who are enrolled in the TentED and EDGE Institute program held at The Haven Center visited Lalish Temple. The field trip was sponsored by our partner, TentED. This was the first visit for most of the kids, many of whom have been out of school since ISIS attacked their hometowns in Shingal and Nineveh Plain (in northern Iraq). They have since been unable to pursue an education because of poverty, instability, insecurity at school, and lack of transport, among other reasons.
Climbing the mountain, enjoying the breezes in the valley and the beauty of the temple, we all put our hands up together. We prayed for goodness in the world, for our people, and for our young women and children who are still being held by ISIS. Then, after descending the mountain, we ate lunch and shared stories with the kids.
Following lunch,the kids were stuffed. We headed to Kaniya Spi Spring to baptize the kids who had not yet been baptized. With smiles on all of our faces, we went back home, the children eager to return to the Haven Center to learn, enjoy and have fun with something new.
By supporting TentED, you are making memories that kids will never forget.
God bless you.