Lincoln Yazidis heading to DC so policymakers don't forget those left behind

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LINCOLN, Nebr. (KOLN) Dozens of Yazidi immigrants, now living in Lincoln, will be marching on the nation's Capitol on Friday of this week. They will join hundreds of fellow Yazidis with the United Yazidi Community of America and the Yazidi Human Rights International to raise awareness for their friends and families who have been caught up in the barbarism of war in Iraq and Syria.

For the past five years, Yazidis have been the target of a genocide effort by ISIS forces in Syria. And more than 300,000 are still being held in refugee camps throughout the Middle East. But there are many more than have gone unaccounted for. Kidnapped, perhaps, or tortured or killed.

"Everybody you see here in Lincoln either had member in family killed, or lost, or still missing," says Nawaf Haskam, director of the Yazidi Cultural Center in Lincoln.

Haskam says more than 40 Lincoln Yazidis will be traveling to Washington D.C. on Friday in an effort to make sure U.S. policymakers don't forget their friends and families in the wake of war.

"We know we are still missing thousands of kids and women under ISIS," Haskam says. "But as ISIS is coming to its end, these people are not returning home."

Within the last month -- there were new reports that 50 Yazidi women had been beheaded at the hands of ISIS in Syria. They hope that -- while the U.S. Pulls out of the area -- that their fellow Yazidis are not forgotten.

"We feel that it is our duty to bring attention to what is happening to our people in Syria and Iraq and all over the world."

Lincoln is home to the largest Yazidi settlement in the country with more than 3,000 living locally.