The Tears of Mount Sinjar

The Tears of Mount Sinjar by Homeira Soufi is fiction inspired by real events. It is the story of Agrin, a young Kurdish Yezidi woman from the Sinjar District, whose family and t

The Tears of Mount Sinjar
June 30, 2024

The Tears of Mount Sinjar by Homeira Soufi is fiction inspired by real events. It is the story of Agrin, a young Kurdish Yezidi woman from the Sinjar District, whose family and thousands of others were massacred in 2014 by ISIS.

Yezidis are a religious community, numbering about one million, whose religion represents one of the world’s oldest belief systems. They believe in one God called Xwede, or Ezdan, and speak the Kurmanji dialect of Kurdish. Yezidis have endured centuries of persecution for their distinctive religious beliefs.

In August 2014, hundreds of Yezidi families were forced by ISIS to choose between death or conversion to Sunni Islam. Many fled to the Sinjar Mountains, but about 5,000 men and boys were mercilessly slaughtered and at least 10,000 women and children were enslaved and trafficked.

The Tears of Mount Sinjar is a novel built from first-hand accounts that present the reader with the heart-breaking realities of the invasion that destroyed Agrin’s family, as well as the families of many others. Her story brings to life the ways in which she and fellow Yezidis took revenge on ISIS before she sought asylum and freedom in Australia.

Agrin’s story

Agrin, a joyful young Yezidi woman, has high hopes for a promising future for herself and her family. She lives a peaceful life in a picturesque and harmonious village in the Sinjar Mountains in Iraq. She is unaware that everything is about to change.

In 2014, ISIS commences their attacks on the Kurdish Yezidi. So begins a series of endless nightmares for the Yezidi people, as ISIS carries out massacres, rapes, and wholesale kidnappings. These crimes shatter the hopes and dreams of Agrin and thousands of other people of Sinjar.

Agrin is in despair; the world has lost its value. She sees a woman fighting empty-handed with a heavily armed ISIS soldier. The woman’s heroic death kindles in Agrin a burning desire to leave, and a need to breathe for her and her people.

The Tears of Mount Sinjar is the story of the survival of the Yezidi people against almost impossible odds.

Homeira Soufi 

Homeira Soufi is a Kurdish woman born and raised in a small mountain village in Eastern Kurdistan (northwestern Iran). As a little girl she was known for writing poems and being a talented storyteller. Even her grandmother enjoyed her stories on cold winter nights, relishing the unexpected challenges and sometimes bizarre endings that Soufi crafted.

After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Persian literature from the literature faculty of Urmia University, Soufi married and migrated to Australia in 2014. As a full-time mother of two, she immersed herself in learning English at home.

Eventually, when reminiscing about the good memories of the days she used to tell stories, her friend encouraged her to write a new story.

Initially hesitant, Soufi eventually relented and began to tell a story that she had kept in her heart for seven years, a tale titled The Tears of Mount Sinjar. Surprisingly, she found that writing turned out to be a more fulfilling endeavor than she could have ever imagined. Instead of orally sharing her stories, she found immense joy in guiding readers through the vivid world that she had envisioned. The experience of holding the reader’s hand and leading them through her imaginative landscapes satisfied her soul in ways that go beyond words.

Rahim Rashidi, a Washington DC-based Kurdish journalist, is widely recognized as "Mr. Kurd." He is focused on Kurdish affairs in Kurdistan and abroad. 

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