Sana, 22 years old
Her whole life Sana suffered violence and hate from prejudice and misconceptions about her Yazidi faith.
Sana was born in Sinjar, Iraq. She belongs to the Yazidi ethnic and religious community. She was 15 years old when the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) attacked her city, killing hundreds of Yazidis in August 2014. Many others were also killed by ISIS militants for refusing to convert their religion. Several of her family were murdered during this time.
Seeing first-hand how violence comes from ignorance, Sana sought an opportunity to combat public prejudice with Jiyan Foundation’s Youth Network for Peace and Dialogue. In the Youth Network Sana found a safe place to speak freely of her experiences, realize her own prejudices, and learn perspectives of young people from different religions and backgrounds.
Through these engagements Sana joined the Youth Network’s activities to rebuild Sinjar with small community projects. “All religions call for love and peace, we need to emphasize both points in our country to build a peaceful society.” says Sana.
Sana now has friends from different religions and ethnicities throughout the region. She works together with Muslims, Christians, Kaka’y, Shabak and Zoroastrian in the Youth Network and spreads the messages of peace on behalf of her new friends to her own Yazidi community.
Learn more: Program for Democracy & Civil Society