Lalish (Iraq) (AFP)
Yazidis crowned a new spiritual leader on Wednesday at their holiest site of Lalish in northern Iraq, nearly two months after the death of the minority’s top cleric.
Ali Alyas was formally named as the Yazidi “Baba Sheikh,” the title for the religious guide of the esoteric community ravaged by the Islamic State group in 2014.
In his 40s, he is relatively young to receive the title.
The Yazidi’s strict caste system stipulates that clerics can only hail from specific clans. Alyas’s father was also a “Baba Sheikh.”
On Wednesday, hundreds of worshippers wearing medical masks gathered at the stone shrine of Lalish to pay their respects to the new leader.
Women wore brightly coloured clothes ornately decorated with beads, their hair covered in dainty white veils.
One by one, the worshippers…