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Suicide rates increase within Iraq’s Yazidi community

The number of suicides among Iraqi Yazidis have been increasing recently, while they receive little support from local and international organizations in this regard.

DAHUK, Iraq — On the morning of March 9, Samir Hassan Ali left his tent in Khanke camp, a displacement camp for Yazidis near the city of Dahuk. Samir, who worked as a volunteer teacher at a school near the camp, always came back home right after work, but not that day. When his relatives saw his tent was still empty late afternoon, they called the police. It didn’t take them long to find his phone and wallet, next to the lake in Khanke. The next day, divers found his body in the water.

It is unclear why Samir, who was loved for his optimistic character and was a popular teacher, committed suicide. His brother Haji thinks it has to do with the hopeless situation Samir found himself in. “Although Samir graduated from the physics department at the University of Mosul in 2013, he had never found a job in his field. To fill his days, he did a lot of volunteer work as a teacher," Haji said. “We have been living in a tent for almost six years. Our family is very poor."

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