In this photo from Aug. 4, 2014, Yazidi Nawaf Sulaiman leads a chant of "We need help - save our children," during a demonstration in front of the Nebraska Capitol in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/Lincoln Journal Star, Eric Gregory)
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LINCOLN, Nebraska: Iekhan Safar moved from Iraq to a city in the middle of the American heartland for the same reason as hundreds of Yezidis, a Kurdish religious minority: to live near family, far from the dangers they've long faced as a persecuted group.Lincoln, the capital of the state of Nebraska, has the largest concentration of Yezidis in the United States, and many of them brought their families to America after receiving visas for serving as translators during the first Gulf War. If granted, many would likely join relatives in Lincoln, where roughly half the nation's Yezidi population – about 200 families – lives.The first families came over to the United States in two waves – after the first Gulf War and then the U.S. invasion in 2003 – under a special visa for military translators and congregated in Buffalo, New York, and Atlanta. Safar's husband came to the U.S. with his family in the 1990s after spending seven years with his siblings and parents in a refugee camp in Syria.
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