Centered around Shingal Mountain, there are dozens of Ezidi villages that are split into those on the north side of the mountain and the south side of the mountain. There are also a few that are directly on the mountain.
Put in place by Saddam Hussein in the later 20th century, collective towns disrupted traditional village and tribal life by putting an array of people from different clans, tribes, and villages into one place. Since 2003, people tended to return to their original villages and towns. However, in 2014 this process was totally disrupted.
The collective towns were undeniably part of an intrusive and genocidal system of ethnic change across northern Iraq. However, some Ezidis credit the collective towns with providing high-quality schools. This positive, though, is counter-balanced by the difficulty of living in them. They were located farther from the mountain than the traditional Ezidi villages, making them easier for the government to control. However, because they were farther from the mountain this meant that their water was poorer quality: it was bitter and salty, and even totally undrinkable. Residents in some collective towns had to truck in all of their drinking water.
Route to Baaj
There are some Arab settlements along the way, but the Ezidi settlements on the road to Baaj are,