Left Malbworaan after a hearty breakfast and with 6 liters of ice-cold water. I still felt somewhat weak, though, and cycling the 70km to Dohuk didn’t seem very realistic.
After maybe 20 kilometers I was stopped by a man waiting on the road-side with his little daughter. He invited me over to his house for lunch, in Mahad, a village just 2 kilometers down the road. I refused at first. He insisted, and insisted even more when he heard I was from Germany – his sons work in Munich. I still refused, though. Then he mentioned he was Yezidi, and that flipped the switch for me and I agreed to have a short rest at his place.
I stayed for maybe 2 hours and was fed with a full-blown lunch – salad and rice and chicken. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel well anymore at this point and couldn’t enjoy the food as much as I would have liked to.
Now who are the Yezidis? As far as I know, they are a long-misunderstood and long-hunted Muslim sect, also called the devil worshippers. However, they themselves say they are not Muslim.
Rashid and his lovely family showed me a wedding video (of someone in the family, not sure whose exactly) and a photo album. Interestingly, girls and women don’t wear head scarfs and join the men for gossiping. However, they don’t seem to join them for eating.
Rashid’s brother drove me up the next hill with his pick-up from where the road was more or less flat.
A few kilometers down the road I stopped at a tiny shop to buy some coke, but I was over-exhausted again and couldn’t move any further from there. I had a long break and talked to the owner of a car repair shop who spoke German. At the end of the day he invited me to his place for the night.
Khalaf is Yezidi, too, has 6 children, and his oldest son is married and has 6 kids of his own, and they all live in the same house.
Had a great evening sitting in the living room with the 15 people and some more friends and relatives. The food was great again.
I’m sleeping on the roof of their house next to the entire family.