Promoting Coexistence: Exploring Religious Diversity in Ninewa Plains under the "Support to Traditional Cultural Practices in Ninewa Plains" Project
Feb. 11, 2024, 12:16 a.m.

In alignment with the ongoing initiative, "Ninewa Plains: Towards Agricultural Restoration, Support to Traditional Cultural Practices in Ninewa Plain," spearheaded by the University of Duhok, a vibrant activity unfolded on January 5th, 2024. The project team orchestrated a series of visits to religious sites in Ninewa Plain, encompassing Al-Shaikhan, Alqosh, and Lalish. A diverse group of 20 youths, representing Islam, Christianity, and Yezidi faiths, united in an effort to foster understanding and coexistence.

Accompanied by Dr. Omran Omer Ali and Dr. Nizar Mohammed Ameen, esteemed professors from the University of Duhok, the group embarked on an enlightening journey. Dr. Omran shared insights, recounting their experiences: "Our visits encompassed Lalish, where we delved into Yezidi practices, followed by a mosque in Al-Shaikhan, where the imam elaborated on Islam and its principles of coexistence. Finally, a church in Alqosh allowed us to grasp the essence of Christianity." Dr. Omran emphasized that proximity among diverse religious groups promotes profound understanding, reinforcing coexistence and peace in Ninewa Plain.

Kawthar, a Muslim participant from Til-Kaif, expressed newfound knowledge about Yezidi traditions post their Lalish visit, highlighting commonalities shared. Similarly, Nisreen Arab, a Yezidi participant from Al-Shaikhan, acknowledged a positive shift in perception towards Islam after visiting a mosque.

Omran Adnan, a Christian participant from Til-Kayf, echoed the sentiment, stating, "Our visit unveiled shared values with the Yezidi religion, offering profound insights into their traditions, beliefs, and temple details."

The project, backed by USAID in collaboration with Purdue, Indiana, and Notre Dame universities, aims to enhance coexistence and bolster agriculture by integrating cultural traditions in Ninewa Plain. As this transformative initiative unfolds, it promises to contribute to a harmonious coexistence among the people of Ninewa Plain.

UOD Media, January 9, 2024

Fatima Mahmood

Photo Credits: Hussain Titmi