Monthly Archives: September 2015

Zoroastrians in Kurdistan

ZAMWI members were not alone in discounting information last year on this site, that the Kurdish Yezedis whom ISIL  was then slaughtering besides raping their young girls and women and turning into sex slaves, have practiced a form of  Zoroastrianism for centuries. Or, that several from other Kurdish sects in Syria & Iraq were also practicing  Zoroastrians for years.

Not unlike our Zoroastrian communities in Canada, US & UK, they preferred to believe the journalistic reports in US  and particularly UK newspapers, including the Financial Times, that the Yezedi faith was not Zoroastrian, but a polyglot of different ones, with only a trace of ours.. They all chose to ignore reports given at the time, and those in Zoroastrian publications many years ago, that Yezedis and quite a few other Kurds believed in the teachings of Zarathustra that were given by senior Iranian and Parsi Zoroastrian professionals who had met them and been approached by them in the early to mid 70s to help facilitate contact and recognition by other Zoroastrians.

The latest pictures shown below, reflect the current zeal of those who are not Zoroastrian, to espouse our faith.  What many may not know, is that after what ISIL did to their Yezedi sect, Kurds prevailed on their Kurdish Parliament to  amend their State’s constitution to include Zoroastrianism as one of the official recognized religions. They are now  close to persuading that Parliament to include some Zoroastrian parliamentarians to represent them in it.

It is reported that Zoroastrianism’s growth in Kurdistan, is astonishing and there is not a single day when a dozen people do not contact one of the few Zoroastrian Centers to learn about the faith or become a  Zoroastrian. Through several Facebook pages, websites and other outlets, these have been able to answer people’s questions & provide material on Zoroastrian literature. The Kurdish Zoroastrian  community has now become several times larger than it was some years back. In Iraq, they are so intrigued by Zoroaster & filled with questions about his teachings, that the Centers are working hard to respond. One priest alone, claims to have tied the Zoroastrian belt (Kashti) for at least 100 people:

Sepia Stories: Homai Vyarawalla on World Photography Day

Homai Vyarawalla (9 December 1913 – 15 January 2012) was India’s first woman photojournalist. On World Photography Day remembering her pathbreaking efforts in capturing history in the footnotes of time with her charming cameras. As India Today said about her – “In the years and months leading up to India’s historic transition to Independence, Homai Vyarawalla was almost as famous as the great leaders and events she chronicled on film.”

Born at Navsari in south Gujarat in a Parsi family in December 1913, Vyarawala had her education in Mumbai and moved to Delhi in 1942. She was involved in publishing a series of photographs of important events during the pre-Independence days and so soon became a well known face in the country. The former Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was one of her favourite subjects and Vyarawala captured some candid moments. Vyarawala’s biographer would later note in the Time Magazine that she may have received little global attention than her foreign contemporaries. “For years her vast archive chronicling three decades of Indian history received less attention than the Indian work of her international contemporaries, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Margaret Bourke-White.” In 1956 Vyarawala captured the first entry of a young Dalai Lama into India for TIME-LIFE.

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