Anneke van Dijck-Borghouts accompanied her husband, who was an engineer in the Ministry of Public Works, to Iraq in 1955. Her husband was commissioned to design a bridge over the Tigris, on the road from Mosul to Ninevé. The bridge, built by a German company, is said to still be there.

In Mosul, their Arab acquaintances advise them that they absolutely must see the Yezidi festival. Once there, Mrs Van Dijck remembers that they felt like intruders, but were kindly tolerated. They were very impressed. People came on foot, on horseback and on donkeys. "Just as the Jews must have gone to Jerusalem."

In the weeks of August 2014, when the news was dominated by the Yezidis who had fled the Islamic State to Mount Shingal, an envelope was delivered to the editorial office of de Volkskrant. This contained the colour photos, which are also published here with the kind permission of the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant on the Yezidi Photo Archive. Next to the colour photos a handwritten letter with explanation:

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My husband and I are probably (almost certainly) the only ones who were present at Sheikh Adi. Twice in a row, in 1955 and 1956, we were at the Annual Festival.

The annual festival Mrs Van Dijk was talking about is the Jimaya Sheikh Adi (Cimaya Şîxadî).

We would like to thank Anneke van Dijck-Borghouts who sent her photographs to the newspaper de Volkskrant and thus made them available to the Yezidi community. Photographs like these show the traditional costumes of the Yazidis, which are unfortunately rarely seen today.