AUBURN, Wash. -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki agreed to step down on Thursday, ending a political deadlock which allowed a new prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, to take over the Iraqi government which has been in turmoil since the ISIS uprising began.

It's all we're thinking about doing, Sabrin Kassem said. Going back to save our families.

Seven families met together in an Auburn living room Thursday night to tell their loved ones' story of survival.

They are Yazidis, a small religious minority in northern Iraq, 45,000 of whom were recently encircled by Islamic State fighters on a remote mountaintop, barely escaping violence that's engulfed their rural homeland.

They're trapped there without food, without water, said Ibraheem Al-Dakhi.

The families admit this is just one of dozens of times their people have been threatened. Now they've created a Facebook page to raise awareness called Stop Yazidi Genocide .

They believe former Prime Minister Al-Maliki made their situation worse, favoring certain religious groups while isolating others.

It was all about himself and his power. He liked the power that he had, Kassem said.

With his decision to step down from power, they hope their loved ones may take a step toward power - but a power that looks more like survival, unity, and someday, maybe even peace.

Bring it all back together. I don't know if it's possible, Kassem said. It's one step at a time, I guess.

Read or Share this story: