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Houston Group Sends Aid To Yazidis Oppressed By The Islamic State In Iraq

Remember the story earlier this year about the Yazidi people of Iraq and their plight on a mountain top? While that crisis may be over, the religious minority continues to be persecuted by the so-called Islamic State, and some Houstonians have not forgotten them.

At a fundraiser Sunday for the Yazidi people, Murad Ismael shares his story with the crowd. Since August, he has been corresponding with Yazidis being oppressed by ISIS.

He took their calls and listened to their stories. He spent three weeks in D.C. petitioning the State Department to intervene when many were trapped on a mountain. They were eventually freed.

But his work did not stop there. In recent months, he’s teamed up with local organizations to hold fundraisers to hold fundraisers, organize donation drives and send supplies to Iraq.

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Murad Hasan (standing with microphone) shares stories of corresponding with oppressed Yazidis in Iraq at a fundraiser in Houston Sunday.

“That effort has grown significantly, exponentially,” Ismael said. “We started with two, three people, now we have hundreds of people aware in Houston and other places.”

Ismael continued to campaign for the Yazidi people while completing graduate school at the University of Houston, and he’s found much success. Ismael completed his thesis, but will not be walking at graduation.

“I’m leaving for Iraq on Tuesday, and I will stay there for two weeks trying to deliver aid to people,” he said. “So I will miss the graduation, but I will be graduating.”

The group raised more than $24,000 on Sunday that will be buy food and other supplies for the Yazidi people in Iraq.

Editor’s note: The amount of money raised by the group has been changed from an earlier version of the story to reflect the correct amount. We regret the error.

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Tomeka Weatherspoon

Tomeka Weatherspoon

Senior Producer

Tomeka Weatherspoon is an Emmy-award winning producer. She produces segments, the weekly television program Arts InSight, the short film showcase The Territory and a forthcoming digital series on innovation. Originally from the Midwest, Tomeka studied convergence journalism from the world’s first journalism school at the University of Missouri. She has...

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