April 2012


Page Summary


RSS Atom

Dances of Universal Peace

Special Edition Newsletter
with guest contributor Patrick Harrigan

View the original newsletter.
Fortuitously clairvoyant
Last year's Dance invitation continues to be applicable to the moment.
Has it really been nearly a YEAR since we last danced together?
Click on image to view the entire photo album of January 2020.

Dancing Peacock Paradise
Special Issue
Indigenous Nations of the Middle East

Florida dancers are playing important roles in helping a growing Confederation of Indigenous Nations struggling to survive across the Middle East and North Africa
The future of the Middle East's--if not the world's--most ancient and unusual faiths may depend in part upon the contribution of a small circle of Florida dancers who have been editing national constitutions as an act of nation-building by and for threatened indigenous peoples of the Middle East and North Africa.

Chief Editor Patrick Harrigan, who has been actively serving the Yezidi cause since 2014, recruited an editorial board of Florida Sufi and contra dancers who serve pro bono as an act of 'community building' for a rainbow of threatened minorities extending across the full length of the Middle East (and the alphabet), from the Amazigh ('Berbers') of Morocco and Libya to Zoroastrians of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

"It is remarkable that, even during this Covid-19 pandemic, from the comfort and security of their homes, Florida dancers have been making really durable and meaningful contributions to the survival of ancient indigenous nations threatened with dispersal or assimilation."

Dr. Diana Kanoy was among the very first to be involved in writing and editing a tribal constitution for the Yezidi nation Ezidikhan in 2019. "Of course, my past experience in writing and publishing helped, too!" she freely confesses in a soft Southern drawl.

Diana Kanoy is best known as a leader of Dances of Universal Peace

Diana Kanoy is best known as a leader of Dances of Universal Peace

"Editing their national constitutions also reinforced my sense of connection to ancient peoples of the Middle East--especially the Yezidi people who have suffered so much in recent years. I admire their inclusion of concern for the environment and equality of women in the constitution."

"Correcting the English language of their documents and confirming the legal portions is simple and straightforward for us. What better use of our time in pandemic lockdown can we imagine than that?"

"As the 'Cradle of Civilization', the Middle East is also home to ancient wisdom traditions that incorporate sacred music and dance, just as we do, as an integral part of the spiritual path of individuals and entire nations of indigenous peoples." 

Since then, Patrick and other volunteer editors have helped to bring into existence almost overnight something that few have ever imagined: a sprawling confederation of twenty nations whose future are anything but assured--the Confederation of Indigenous Nations of the Middle East and North Africa.
Seal of the 20-member Confederation of Indigenous Nations of the Middle East and North Africa
(click on the Seal to visit the CINMENA website)
Despite its reputation for religious intolerance, the Middle East has long sheltered many distinctive and unusual faiths: Druze regard the Greek philosophers as incarnations of God, Yezidis revere God's Regent in the form of a peacock, while others believe that their followers are reincarnated beings who have existed in various forms for thousands of years.

These religions represent the last vestiges of the magnificent civilizations in ancient history: Persia, Babylon, Egypt in the time of the pharaohs. Their followers have learned how to survive foreign attacks and the perils of assimilation. But today, with the Middle East in turmoil, they face greater challenges than ever before.

Despite discrimination, persecution and even genocide, whole nations of indigenous peoples have ensured that their ancient ways continue to be passed down from generation to generation since the very dawn of civilization.

In the last few years, Yezidis have been making headlines around the world, but for horrifying reasons. ISIS extremists have mercilessly targeted the ethno-religious group, attempting a full-scale genocide campaign against them in Iraq, killing and enslaving thousands of Yezidis.

A peaceful religious community, Yezidis believe in one God who has entrusted the world to seven angels—the leader of which they call the Peacock Angel. For centuries, some adherents to other religions have wrongly claimed that the Yezidis’ Peacock Angel is actually the Devil and, therefore, that Yazidism is a Devil-worshiping cult. Because of this, generation after generation of Yezidi has suffered ongoing persecution.
Shortly after the ISIS assault upon the Yezidi indigenous community of Iraq in 2014, their supreme spiritual leader the Baba Sheikh rushed to Washington DC to seek help from the White House and State Department--while also relaying a curious request to meet in Washington with Florida dancer and South Asian specialist Patrick Harrigan.

Patrick in turn hurried to Washington and arranged for their brief but important encounter that took place at the Murugan Temple of North America at the ritual culmination of Murugan's Six Day War over the super demon Cur, literally 'Terror' on October 29th, 2014.
Patrick's meeting with the Baba Sheikh led to his sustained involvement in creating the Provisional Government of Ezidikhan with the aim of establishing an autonomous self-governing Yezidi homeland within the Federal Republic of Iraq. Six years later, that work grew into something that many believed impossible: the establishing of a 20-nation Confederation of Indigenous Nations of the Middle East and North Africa.

As pre-conditions to joining CINMENA,  a concerned tribe or nation must:
  1. Consider themselves as indigenous to the land they inhabit;
  2. Renounce violence in favor of non-violent resolution of conflicts with other bodies or entities including multinational corporations and nation-states;
  3. Draft the nation's own modern constitution (in English with technical assistance provided by CINMENA's panel of editors); and
  4. Ratify the International Covenant on the Rights of Indigenous Nations (ICRIN) (with technical assistance provided by CINMENA's panel of editors).
The temboor, a fretted string instrument unique to the Kurdish people, has long been associated with the Yarsan religion in Kurdish areas and in the Lorestan provinces of Iran. Its practitioners venerate the temboor sas a sacred object.

Founded in 14th Century Iran, the Yarsani believe in reincarnation and still hold their rituals and ceremonies in secret. Known as the 'People of Truth', Yarsanis regard the sun and fire as holy and seek oneness and purity in life. Yarsanis have been persecuted for centuries in Iraq and Iran, seen as nonbelievers by religious extremists.
Confederation of Indigenous Nations of the Middle East Treaty of 2020
Download the Full text of the Treaty of 2020 as a PDF file.
  1. Ahwaz Nation of Iran
  2. Al-Dulaimi Tribal Confederation of Iraq
  3. Amazigh ('Berber') Nation of Libya
  4. Amazigh Tribes of Morocco
  5. Armenian Ezidikhan
  6. Georgian Ezidikhan
  7. Iraqi Ezidikhan
  8. Russian Ezidikha
  9. Syrian Ezidikhan
  10. Anatolian Ezidikhan
  11. Hizb Al-Ba'at Al-'Arabi Al-Istir Tribe of Iraq
  12. Idlib Druze-Domari Alliance of Syria
  13. Kawliya of Iraq
  14. Ma'dasn Nation of Iraq & Iran
  15. Mandaeans of Iraq Iran & Syria 
  16. Palestinian Bedouin tribes 
  17. Shabaks of Iraq
  18. Turkmeneli Nation of Iraq and Syria
  19. Yarsan Nation of Iraq & Iran
  20. Zoroastrians of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India

Originating in the third century, Mandeanism is a secretive and private religion born out of the marshlands of what is now Southern Iraq. Speaking Arabic, Farsi, and their own language, Mandraic, followers revere John the Baptist as well as other well-known biblical figures such as Adam, Abel, and Noah. Facing the North Star during prayer, Mandeans are devout pacifists and hold the belief that only God is allowed to take someone's life. Living a nomadic life on small islands or man-made floating platforms in their massive swampland home of the Tigris-Euphrates river system, Mandeans have passed down their religion for generations alongside their master skills in boat-building.

Copyright 2021 She Swims With Alligators, All rights reserved.
"This Kalama Dance was the seal on the Murshid Sam Dargah Dedication Celebration Aug 24-27, 2017, danced right inside the new Dargah structure." -Shabda Kahn

Visit Dances of Universal Peace Florida on Facebook

May 2013 at Dancing Peacock Paradise
"Dancing Peacock Paradise is an amazing space to deepen dance practice. It is very beautiful and inviting, an experience not to be missed. I have spent wonderful, magical days here over the years and cherish all. I look forward to returning."
-Sophia Shunny
Silver City, New Mexico

Thanksgiving 2009 at Dancing Peacock Paradise

Dances of Universal Peace honor religious traditions of the world by chanting phrases from holy scriptures & oral traditions.

Everything is taught in the moment as we join our voices together.

More details about Allaudin and Lila’s 2013 Dance Retreat

Subscribe to Dancing Peacock Paradise mailing list

* indicates required
Preferred e-mail format
February 2013 at Dancing Peacock Paradise