As it was reported earlier, Dr. Victor A. Nadein –Raevskiy, Ph. D in Philosophy, the Head of Scientific Center of the “Yezidi Congress” took part in the meeting between the delegation of the “Yezidi Congress” with Iraqi Ambassador to Russia. On July 25, 2018. Our correspondent met with Victor Anatolyevich and asked him to answer a number of questions.
Good afternoon, esteemed Victor Anatolyevich. Can you tell us, please, about when this Center was created and who works there?
Good afternoon. The idea of the establishing this center belongs to the Chairman of the Congress, Mr. Samvel Kochoi. It is a well known fact that he himself is a well known an authoritative scientist in the field of Law that is why his concern of the scientific course of the Congress activities is explainable. In turn, I gave my support to this idea, also I developed the draft Proposal on Scientific Center ( I should add here that it’s full title – “ The Center For the Study of History and Culture of the Yezidi people”) which was approved by The Congress Board. After that I began searching for the scholars and scientists who can work in this Center. There was already a meeting in the Congress office at which these scholars and we drafted the working plan…
May we learn who these scholars are?
I think that there is no sense in telling these scholars name by name. I can only say that these are Russian scholars from a number of the institutions , which are in first turn, academic ones and represent different science branches. Predicting your next question I will say that the purpose of the Scientific Center is the creation of the scientific branch which is making research in different aspects of the past and present of the Yezidi people , their history and culture. All this is extremely important, first of all, for the future of Yezidis. But I would like to stress that our aim will be reached providing one condition: if the Yezidi scholars themselves will be coming to science, to this Center.
You may know that only a few people name them as Yezidi scientists…
Yes, I know this problem, but I would like to remind that the Yezidis were bright representatives, for example, of our domestic Oriental studies, in particular of such specific branch as Kurdish Studies. These are talented scholars also did not came out of the blue. Years have passed before such names as Sakhro Mgoyan, Sharaf Ashiryan, Kanat Kurdoyev and others became very well known. That is why it is important that young and talented Yezidi girls and boys would come to the contemporary science so as to in some time they can proudly call themselves as Yezidi scholars.
That brilliant series of Soviet –Yezidi scholars which I was talking above was fulfilling the task which was put before them by Soviet leadership and Communist party of the USSR. It is widely known that they did a great work for preserving and rebirth of the Kurdish national self – awareness. That was recognized repeatedly by the leaders of contemporary current Kurdish movement. However the same work should be done by the Yezidi scholars for themselves and for the Yezidi people. Without scientists and science the Yezidi prospects will be rather doubtful, I am afraid. As it happened that for a long time the opponents of Yezidis stated that there is no scientists, no doctors and Ph.D. holders among the Yezidis and that they are uneducated people whose opinion does mean nothing…
It can be possible to change this situation should the Yezidi would change their attitude to the scholars and to the scientific activities as taken by the whole. Rather Yezidis do not have neither their state nor autonomous entity and oil revenues. And these means that the Yezidis themselves must support their own scholars including and also sponsoring the research conducted by them.
What is the first – priority, at your opinion, the Yezidi scientists are facing?
First of all, the modern Yezidi scientists should solve the tasks, such as self – identification, preserving their religion and language. The history of Yezidis needs serious research, Culture and way of life. Here is for example, one of the problems which the academician S. Kochoi writes about: “As it is known, it was religious factor itself which led to the partition, in particular, of Serbian people and appearing such people as Boshnyaki (Bosnians). The same way some time ago the Serbo-Croatian language which was considered as a common language for both peoples dissolved to Serbian and Croatian languages which are almost not differ from each other. We believe that such processes were taking place in Yezidi community as well….”
On my estimation I can say that it is much unclear regarding the question of the language which the Yezidis and Kurds speak. For example in the 20th of the last century in the USSR the school study-books on “Kurmanji’ language had been published, but then this language became called as “Kurdish” but in the meanwhile as it is known Yezidis spoke this language even before the notion of the “Kurdish language” itself appeared.
Or, you may take the problem of the origins of the Yezidis’ religion. Today there is a prevailing opinion about the question that the religion of the Yezidis was created by revered Sheikh Adi, however there is another opinion and according to it he only reformed it. So that means that the Yezidis had had their own religion even before the reforming activities by Sheikh Adi (a number of researchers believe that the roots of the Sharfadin religion, religious beliefs came from pre-Islamic past of Mesopotamia). Please come agree that this and other versions of the origins of the Yezidis, their religion and language represent great academic interest.
The task for scholars both those who agreed to work in the Scientific Center of the Congress as well as those young Yezidis, who, beyond any doubt, will come to science yet, so you may say that the task for everyone is single and it is to make a research that the many thousands centuries’ intellectual wealth which is by right belongs to the people of Yezidis would be preserved