Yezidi Communities around the World

Yezidi communities can now be found in many countries around the globe, including large communities in Germany, Canada and the United States. Their principal cities, however, continue to remain in northern Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Armenia and other countries of the former Soviet Union.

Yezidi Communities in the Middle East and Russia

Most of the Yezidis in the Middle East dwell in five districts: (1) Sheikhan, the most important, to the northeast of Mosul in northern Iraq; (2) Jabal Sinjar, near the Syrian border, 100 kilometers due west of Mosul; (3) Halitiyeh, in the province of Diyarbakïr (southeastern Turkey); (4) Malliyah, to the west of the Euphrates, including Aleppo; (5) Sarahdar, the Yezidi settlements in the Caucasus region. The vast majority of Yezidis in the former USSR live in Armenia and Georgia. Urban centers with significant Yezidi populations include Leninakan, Etchmiadzin, and Tbilisi. There are also communities in Aparan and Talin (Armenia) and Lachin and Kelbajar (western Azerbaijan). There are a few small communities in Turkmenistan, which arrived with Kurds from Iran in the twentieth century.

Yezidi Communities in Iraq

Most Yezidis in Iraq live in either the Sheikhan or Sinjar regions. Sheikhan, the “Land of Sheikhs,” is the Yezidi heartland, and includes within its borders Lalish, Baadra, the ancient seat of Yezidi Princes, and Eyn Sifni, the current residence of the Mir and the Baba Sheikh. The Sinjar Mountains are hot, sun-baked regions, where mostly Yezidi herdsmen live. Because of their severity and remoteness, the Sinjar Mountains have been both a buffer and refuge for Yezidis against their invaders.

Yezidi Communities in Germany

There are currently 35,000- 40,000 Yezidis living in Germany. They began arriving in Germany from Iraq, Iran Turkey, Armenia, and Syria in the 1960s. They are currently located principally in the German cities of Celle, Oldenburg and Bielefeld


Yezidi Communities in the United States and Canada

Yezidis began arriving in the United States in the 1990s and currently have small settlements principally in the Mid-West and the East. Their largest settlement is currently in the city of Lincoln, Nebraska. They also have communities in Houston, Texas, Phoenix, Arizona, Seattle, Washington, and San Diego, California.


There are small communities in London, Ontario and Saskatchewan as well.