Hatab Omar rides a train with his children at a Christmas market in Hanover, Germany. He and his family are Êzidî, also known as Yazidi, an ethnic religious minority historically located in parts of Syria, Iraq and Turkey. Over the course of the last 16 years, nearly everyone in Hatab’s family has left Syria and moved to Germany. His parents were one of the last members of his family to arrive to Germany in 2012.
Hatab takes a break from raking leaves in his backyard in Dedenhausen, Germany. In Syria, his family used to live extremely close to one another and were able to see each other often. Hatab and his family still see each other every weekend. But now, his family packs into their minivan to travel to his parent’s house two towns away.
Hevi Omar, 13, plays with her brother, Moris, 4, in the entryway of the family’s home. Because of either fear, discrimination, or the combination of both, many Êzidî individuals in recent history have decided to leave their homelands and to move to another county. Throughout the Êzidî's existence, they have been the target of 73 genocides.
Gulbahar Omar, 9, lights three candles that sit in front of a figure of a metal peacock, one of the most sacred figures in Êzidî culture, during one of the Êzidî days of fasting in December. The candles help her to connect and celebrate a holiday from the religion of her and ancestors.
Hatab walks with Moris back to their home in Dedenhausen, Germany. He first moved to Germany in 1996. Today, he works to help others to integrate and become part of the German culture. It his passion to help others achieve sanctuary— what he attempted to do many years earlier.
Daliah Omar, Hatab's wife, embraces Moris one afternoon in the family's home.
Lor waits for a family dinner after a day of fasting in December. The family believes in the importance of retaining one’s religious history, as well as recognizing the significance of being involved with their surrounding community.
In front of German wooden wall hangings, Hatab dances with two of his brothers at the family’s celebration of the Three Day Fast, one of the most important Êzidî holidays. For them, their celebration may be different than it used to be in Syria, but they are still together.