Reconstruction of the Yazidi Mam Rashan Shrine
Mount Sinjar, Iraq
The Mam Rashan Yazidi Shrine on Mount Sinjar in Northern Iraq, likely dates form the 12th century and honors a Xua’dan Saint (or “righteous person”), a saint associated with agriculture, rain, and the annual harvest. The shrine is an important example of Yazidi religious architecture, with a tall, conical dome rising from a circular drum over a square, windowless chamber.
The building was destroyed by Daesh in 2014, as a part of their genocidal campaign against the Yazidi community. Only a quarter of the Yazidi population returned to Sinjar after the liberation, but the Shrine is a testament to their long presence in the region. The restoration of the shrine and rehabilitation of the surrounding garden are ongoing. Ahead of this work, the road leading to the shrine was upgraded to ensured that the site was safe from explosives. All activities are carried out in close cooperation with the Yazidi community, and in October 2020, the Yazidi religious authorities from Lalesh, Sinjar, and Bashiqa as well as community leaders and mukhtars (head of a village) from Sinjar held a religious ceremony to bless these works.