“Welcome to Kurdistan!” our driver said with pride as we crossed the border, a procedure requiring seven different checkpoints, two changes of transport, and a heavy coating of diesel fumes in the 102° heat.
En route to Dohuk we passed a UNHCR refugee camp set aside specifically for Yazidis, with a population of 30,000 living in a massive tent city.
Deir Abuna Our first stop, was hard by the camp, at the town of Deir Abuna—”the Monastery of the Fathers.”
Eighty of this village’s 200 houses had been abandoned a few years ago when the PKK went on a rampage against Christians during the cross-border Turkish incursion. Now these homes are filled with Christian and Yazidi refugees, thanks to the heroic offer of the town’s mayor, Mochtar Zecharia.