1st Edition

The Yezidis A Study in Survival

By John S. Guest Copyright 1987

    First Published in 1987 The Yezidis: A Study in Survival traces the origin of Yezidi community’s religion, describes the discovery of the people by Western travellers in the early nineteenth century and details the Yezidi community’s traumatic history and their status in the 80s. The Yezidi religious group is spread out over Iraq, Turkey, Syria, and erstwhile USSR and have retained their identity for over 500 years. The Yezidi’s believe that Lucifer, the fallen angel, has been forgiven by God and reinstated as chief angel: their history is, like their faith, characterized by dignity and survival in the face of great odds. Chapters also cover Sultan Abdul Hamid’s cruel but vain efforts to force the Yezidis to embrace Islam, leading to the emergence of Mayan Khatun, a strong-willed Yezidi princess who ruled the community from 1913-1958. They include vivid account of her rivalry with her brother Ismail and the ill-fated marriage between her son and his daughter. The final chapter describes the community in Soviet Armenia and Georgia. This book is a must read for students of Middle East studies and Middle East history.

    List of Illustrations Preface Foreword by Professor Allan Cunningham 1. Antecedents 2. Sheikh Adi and His Order 3. The Yezidi Religion 4. Early Encounters with the Outside World 5. Prisoners on a Sinking Ship 6. English-speaking Missionaries and Explorers 7. Rassam and Layard 8. The Tribulations of Mir Hussein Beg 9. Abdul Hamid and The Yezidis 10. The Publication of the Sacred Book 11. Brother and Sister 12. The Epoch of Mayan Khatun 13. The Yezidis in Transcaucasia Appendix I: The Yezidi Sacred Book and Sheikh Adi’s Hymn Appendix II: Texts of the Yezidi Letters to the Grand Vizier and Sir Stratford Canning Abbreviations Chapter Notes Bibliography Chol Family Genealogy Index


    John S. Guest