Abstract

My research centers on the experiences of five Yezidi female refugees in Kurdistan and how they survived the ISIS siege of their hometown- Sinjar. Yezidis, an ethno-religious community living in northern Iraq were the center of most news stories for the massacres they faced under ISIS and the sex-enslavement of thousands of them. This research attempts to show how a large-scale event like genocide impacts the life of the individual on the micro-level, but also how individual narratives are instrumental in constructing a collective identity, presenting Yezidis as a historically persecuted group. By examining sectarian relations in Iraq before and after the American invasion of 2003, the research situates the Yezidi genocide within the context of sectarian politics in the nation-state. Personal narratives are used as the main methodology to portray how each woman uniquely experienced and remembers the fall of Sinjar, the survival phase and how she lives as a refugee in the aftermath. The impact that trauma has on memory is an important element of the personal narratives but also speak of the collective Yezidi experience.

Department

Middle East Studies Center

Degree Name

MA in Middle East Studies

Date of Award

2-1-2019

Online Submission Date

January 2019

First Advisor

Aly, Ramy

Committee Member 1

Schwab, Manuel

Committee Member 2

Wael, Hala

Document Type

Thesis

Extent

1p.138p.

Rights

The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

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