Mir Tahsin, head of the Yezidi community. Photo/ Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Head of the Yezidi community Mir Tahsin has died in Germany at the age of 85.
Mir Tahsin was hospitalized for an illness last week and his relatives announced on Monday that he had passed away in a Hanover hospital.
Tahsin Saeed Beg Ali Beg Hussein Beg known as Mir (Chief) Tahseen was chosen chief of the Yezidi community at the age of 11.
KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani sent condolences to the Mir’s family and the Yezidi community across the globe, describing the late leader as someone who worked for peaceful coexistence in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.
“My heartfelt condolences to the family, relatives and all of our Yezidi brothers and sisters and the people of Kurdistan on the death of Mir Tahsin,” said PM Barzani in a message.
Barzani said that Mir Tahsin was not only a leader for the Yezidi community, but that “he played a crucial role in Kurdistan and in Iraq.”
“He always worked to strengthen the spirit of coexistence among different communities in Kurdistan and Iraq.” Barzani said.
“With a heavy heart we announce the death of Yazidis’ Mir Tahsin Saeed Ali at the KRH Slewa Hospital in the German city of Hanover. He had fallen ill for a long time,” Khairi Bozani, director of Yazidi affairs at the KRG ministry of religious affairs, said on Monday.
Former Kurdish President Masoud Barzani described the death of Mir Tahsin as a big loss for the Yezidis and the Kurdish nation as a whole.
“I extend my condolences to the family of the Mir, Yazidi religious men, all Yazidi brothers and sisters in Kurdistan and the world as well as the Kurdistani nation,” said Barzani in a statement.
“The death of Mir Tahsin Beg is a big loss and will leave behind a big gap for the Yazidi brothers and sisters and all of us. I hope this vacuum is filled in cooperation with all parties, harmony and fraternity among all the Yazidis of Kurdistan and the world is strengthened and deepened,” he added.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad said Mir Tahsin was "a wise leader and a firm believer in peace" who led the community through a difficult time.
International diplomats also extended their condolences.
The US consulate in Erbil said Mir Tahsin had "provided wise leadership to [the] Yezidi community, particularly during challenging times. We all will miss a friend, partner, and a dedicated peace activist."
France's mission in Iraq sent condolences to the Yezidi community.
Mir Tahsin was born on August 15, 1933 in Ba'adra, near Shekhan, Duhok.
He joined the Kurdish Aylul Revolution against Iraqi government in 1970. He had already experienced imprisonment under the Iraqi regime a decade earlier.
Mir Tahsin migrated to the UK in 1975 and returned to Iraq in 1981. He survived two attempts on his life in 1992 and 2003.
He is survived by eight sons and three daughters.
Updated at 6:17 pm