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Pin Pricks

As the book of Ecclesiastes says, this week has been a time to gather stones together. Stones of remembrance. As we position ourselves to enter the Gate of New Beginnings, we can not but look back at the Gate of Remembrance. The Gate of Sinjar, 2014.

We have been collecting precious items that our students or their families managed to preserve when they were brutally taken into captivity. Looking at the simple yet powerful items, I recalled a poignant quote by Johnathan Safran Foer, who whilst referring to the Jewish people, touches and relates to all those affected by genocide and acts of human evil.

“Jews have six senses. Touch, taste, sight, smell, hearing and memory. Memory is no less primary than the prick of a pin, or its silver glimmer, or the taste of the blood it pulls from the finger. He is pricked by a pin and remembers other pins. It is only by tracing the pin prick back to other pin pricks - when his mother tried to fix his sleeves while his arm was still in it, when his grandfather’s fingers fell asleep from stroking his great-grandfather’s damp forehead, when Abraham tested the knife point to be sure that Isaac would feel no pain - that the Jew is able to know why it hurts. When he encounters a pin, he asks: “What does it remember like?”

Today we share some of our students' Pin Pricks.




Barzan and his brothers clothes: His brother's name is Nashwan. He is the first born in the family, still in captivity with not one word from him or clue since Aug 3, 2014. He was 24 when taken into captivity.



Sadam and the money.

“This is the last gift my father gave me, just the day before Daesh destroyed our family.”



Kristina and her photo and red dress.

“This is a photo of me when I was one year old, there were two items my Mum managed to keep, this photo and the red dress that she made for me. I was eight years old when I was taken. My Mum never washed my dress. She tells me that she would sit smelling it all day every day , never allowing her tears to fall on my dress."



Hadiya and her blanket. “This is my blanket. I couldn’t sleep without it. My Mum grabbed it and took it with us as she knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I was four years old.”



Fawzia and her necklace.

“This is the only memory that I have of my family, a necklace with the name, God. My mother gave it to me when I was 15 years old.


“All of us are in some sense survivors, in carrying the burden of memory without letting it rob us of hope and faith." Rabbi Jonathan Sacks


Thank you dear reader, dear friend, for carrying the burden of memory of the Yezidi people, together with our community, stop and pause at the Pin Pricks, remember them, and move in hope and faith forward to the Gate of New Beginnings, August 3rd, 2022.


So sad. Love the fact you are giving them reason to hope again x

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