Revitalization of the Bahzani Olive Grove for the Yazidi Community

Baashiqa-Bahzani, Iraq

Amount $ 75K

Years 2020

Operator Lalesh Cultural and Social Center

project status Completed

Type of grant Emergency relief

(c) Lalesh Cultural and Social Center
(c) Lalesh Cultural and Social Center
(c) Lalesh Cultural and Social Center

The Yazidi community considers olive trees a sacred natural heritage and uses olive oil in religious ceremonies. The olive grove in front of the Yezidi mausoleum of Sheikh Bakeur al-Qatani, west of Bahzani, was attacked by Daesh between 2014 and 2016. As a result, of the 3,000 olive trees, 800 were completely burned, and 2,200 were damaged. Many of these trees were over 100 years old.

In order to revitalize the grove, the project built a barrier to protect the seedlings from animals and intruders. The second part of the project - launched in February 2021 - focuses on cleaning the damaged trees, uprooting the burnt ones, and replacing them with new trees. The last step will be to repair the irrigation canals to ensure the sustainability of the grove.