Fifth Anniversary of Mount Sinjar Genocide




 Sunday, August 4th
2:00 PM
Queen’s Park Legislature Building, south lawn

Please stand with the Yezidi Community
in memory of those who died at the hands of ISIS


(Toronto, July 26th, 2019)
 The mass murder of more than 10,000 Yezidi people by fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) will be remembered on Sunday, August 4th at Queen's Park. We invite you to stand with members of the Canadian Yezidi community in memory of those who died in the genocide at Mount Sinjar five years ago. On the morning of August 3, 2014, ISIS fighters entered the Yezidi city of Sinjar, bent on total destruction.  In the days that followed approximately 10,000 Yezidis were executed in cold blood – shot, beheaded, burned alive. More than 7,000 Yezidi women and girls were taken by ISIS and forced into sex slavery.  Holy shrines were desecrated.

As ISIS overran Sinjar, thousands of Yezidis fled to Turkey.  Approximately 15,000 Yezidi refugees, mostly women and children, now live in UNHCR camps in Nusaybin, Diyarbakur, and Midyat. There is a word for what the Yezidis have endured.  It is genocide.

Five years later, the survivors of this genocide bear wounds that have not healed. Mass executions, the abduction of sons and daughters, the torment of sexual slavery -- these memories are replayed through every waking moment and restless night.

As new mass graves are discovered, hopes are cruelly dashed that missing relatives will be found alive.

On August 4, 2019 at 2:00 PM the Yezidi community living in the Greater Toronto Area and London, Ontario will commemorate the Mount Sinjar Genocide at Queen's Park with the largest gather of Yezidis in Canada.  Among them will be survivors of the massacre and sexual slavery that followed.

The broader Canadian community can help the healing of these survivors by standing with them to mark the fifth anniversary of the genocide. A large and compassionate assembly on August 4th will show these men, women, and children that they are not alone.

Karen Goldenberg, C.M.
Chair of Project Abraham

Mirza Ismail
Founder and Chair of Yezidi Human Rights Organization - International 



Our MC
Karen Goldenberg, C.M., Chair of Project Abraham

Karen Goldenberg is the principal consultant at Karen Goldenberg Consultants, providing organizational development, governance, and executive coaching to not-for-profit agencies.

She has had leadership roles as CEO of several health and social service agencies and has been appointed to many boards and government advisory committees.
Karen was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2014.


Our Keynote Speaker
Irwin Cotler, P.C., O.C., O.Q.

Irwin Cotler is the Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, an Emeritus Professor of Law at McGill University, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and longtime Member of Parliament, and an international human rights lawyer.

He was elected 2014 Canadian Parliamentarian of the Year by his colleagues, and in 2015 received the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Inaugural Human Rights Award. In its citation, the Law Society recognized “The Honourable Irwin Cotler’s tireless efforts to ensure peace and justice for all. In his varied roles as law professor, constitutional and comparative law scholar, international human rights lawyer, counsel to prisoners of conscience, public intellectual, peace activist, Member of Parliament, and Minster of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Mr. Cotler has been a leader and role model. Through his advocacy work both in Canada and internationally, he has transformed the lives of many.”


Mirza Ismail  
Founder and Chair of Yezidi Human Rights Organization - International

Mirza Ismail is a Yezidi religious Sheikh and the founder of Yezidi Human Rights Organization - International, who has been fighting for the cause of Yazidis worldwide for over 20 years. He is a native-born Yezidi who was forced to flee Iraq by Saddam Hussein’s regime in 1991.

He currently resides in Canada and has spoken about the community in the Canadian parliament and in many international forums. As a Sheikh, he is highly respected and has an enormous following in the global Yazidi community.

For further information please contact:

Gary Rose
Director of Communications
Project Abraham
[email protected]

See Barbara Kay, National Post

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the following organizations who stand with the Yezidi community in remembrance: 

Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights
Armenian National Committee of Canada
Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture
Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies
The Samurai Centre for Human Rights & Holocaust Studies 
Fondation Sylvenie Lindor Foundation 
Stand With Us Canada

Office for Refugees, Archdiocese of Toronto (ORAT)
Catholic Refugee Sponsors CouncilSt. Matthews United Church, Richmond Hill
World Wide Opportunities for Women
Mozuud Freedom Foundation Centre
Lodzer Synagogue
Adath Israel Congregaton
Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue
Beth Tzedec Congregation
Pride of Israel Synagogue
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of Jewish Women Toronto