Combining elements of Zoroastrianism and other religions, the Yezidis are the largest ethnic minority in Armenia today. Considered by many academics to be ethnic Kurds who didn’t convert to Islam, they are also the reason why I moved to Armenia in October 1998. Indeed, although I had visited Nagorno Karabakh on assignment in 1994, I had since moved on to work on the Kurds in Turkey and had no immediate intention to step foot in the Caucasus again. However, in June 1998, an opportunity arose to visit Armenia for the London-based Kurdish Human Rights Project.
With most of Armenia’s Muslim Kurds having fled with the Azeris at the beginning of the Karabakh conflict, this pretty much meant the focus was on the Yezidis.