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At the Temple of the Peacock Angel in the Yezidi holy city of Lalish, you find this entrance to a Sacred Spring with a carved black snake, revered by Yezidis as they believe a black snake stuck itself into a hole in Noah’s Ark and saved humanity.

The Yezidis are among the most ancient of all peoples in the Middle East. Their heartland is in what is now Northern Iraq, or Iraqi Kurdistan. You may know of them through the horrific butchery perpetrated upon them by the medieval terrorists of ISIS which gained worldwide notoriety.

They are a fascinating people whose syncretic beliefs are a mélange of Zoroastrianism, Syriac Christianity, Sufi Islam spiced with their own interpretation of all three. In other words, they are their own people, no one else like them – peaceful, at ease with themselves, and immensely likeable.

Their protectors are the Kurds – an extraordinary people in their own right. We’ll be visiting Iraqi Kurdistan and the Yezidis once more soon. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #89 Photo ©Jack Wheeler)