New Yazidi spiritual leader inauguration ceremony

Members of the Yazidi religious minority attend the inauguration ceremony of the new Yazidi spiritual leader, also known as Baba Sheikh, Ali Elias Haji Nasir at Lalish Temple, south-east of Duhok, Kurdistan region, Iraq, 18 November 2020.

Sheikh Ali Elias Haji Nasir was appointed as the new spiritual leader of the Yazidi minority group succeeding the late Khartu Hajji Ismael, who died in early October at the age of 87.

Nasir, 41, was chosen following consultations among family members, Yazidi tribes and the Yazidi Supreme Spiritual Council. The inauguration ceremony was held at the Lalish Temple, the holiest shrine of the Yazidis that was recently nominated on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and which contains the mausoleum of Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir, the 12th-century founder of Yazidism.

There are over one million Yazidis worldwide, the majority of which live in Iraq, mainly in the Nineveh and Duhok governorates.

A visual story by EFE/EPA photographer GAILAN HAJI

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