Humans of Kurdistan
The "Humans Of Kurdistan" project aims to present the cultural diversity of the country. A look at the faces but also the stories that lie behind each of them.

October 21, 2020

“Because we were poor, I had to work in a restaurant close to our house after school. When my dad left to Damascus to work, he took me with him. I started working in a hotel for three years. I learned a lot from the chefs there even though they never wanted anyone to learn from them, but I used to watch them from the windows and wrote what I noticed.I went to North of Kurdistan due to the war and worked there as a chef. The owner was very satisfied with my work because I knew very well to cook Eastern food, so he took me to Denmark with him for work. I worked there for nine months, then finally decided to go back to Rojava and live with my family. I opened an oriental food restaurant in Hasaka. I love my job and always try to grow more.” ...

October 21, 2020

“When you set someone as your role model, you would want to turn most of your life like theirs, even your hair and clothes. Because of my love for Marcelo the Brazilian player, I have made my haircut to look like his, even though a lot of people criticize me for my looks. I hear a lot of people saying that I look like a woman, or say that it's a shame how I let my hair grow so much. One of my teachers told me once if I shave my hair, he would give me 15 grades for it, I told him if he even lets me pass, I wouldn't shave it. My father really supports my decision, and doesn't want me to shave it, but my mother always fights with me because of my hair.” ...

October 20, 2020

“After I received my diploma, I became a teacher in Mahabad. However, I was imprisoned for three years. A lot of bad things happened in those three years; My father and my big brother passed away, who was the source of my inspiration for singing. After I was released from prison, I went back to an empty house.My brother had a beautiful voice, but no one had been a singer in our family. My father knew that I had a good voice, but he never let me sing in front of my friends when we used to hang out because unfortunately, in our country singing is widely misunderstood. When we bought our first radio device I was so inspired by Tahir Tofiq and Mohamed Salih Dilan's poems. Regardless of the folk songs I have studied, I have taken many Badini Melodies and combined it with Sorani poems. I have about 400 unrecorded songs, and many people have asked me to teach singing, but I don't believe in it.” ...

October 20, 2020

“My sister and I have been playing football for four years. We used to play on the streets, and one day Captain Rasho who is now my coach came to me and asked me to play in a stadium. I stepped into a new chapter in my life when Captain Rasho decided to include us in his team. At first, I found it very hard because I had never played in a stadium before.Last year, I was playing for Amuda women's team, even though I was a new player the coach called me up because of my height. I became the first player to play in women's Syrian league at the age of fourteen. We won our last game in Damascus, and became the champions.We also became the champions of women's Syrian league for under 18 several days ago. My sister was the captain and she lifted the trophy. I was voted as the best player of the tournament and had scored the most goals.” ...

October 19, 2020

“My two brothers were in a dance group as kids, but they joined YPG when they grew up. I learned dancing from them, and for about three years I was in a children's dance group. Once I grew up, I joined an older dance group and then became the trainer of the group. Despite my young age, I taught dancing to a lot of students.In addition to dancing, I taught myself to play Oboe because not many people are familiar with it here, but it is widely used in Afrin, they consider it as a part of the Kurdish tradition. I was sixteen years old when I bought my first oboe, and little by little I learned how to play. I have only taken two classes, and the rest I learned on my own. Everyone I knew wanted to learn how to play a violin or a guitar, but I preferred playing the oboe. While serving in the army, I was getting some attention because I knew how to play the oboe and dance, and so Farhad Mardi the artist offered me to join their group, and I happily accepted.” ...

October 19, 2020

“When I used to go to school as a kid, my teacher used to always ask me a question saying what I wanted to become when I grow up, and I answered differently each time, a teacher, a doctor, a beauty salon owner, or an engineer.I was answering differently each time because I wanted to try everything. I started growing up and started thinking more, and I found out that I can't do every job out there, but I again I wanted to know what every job feels like and how I would react to it, and always wondered how I can do that. Then, I thought if I become an actor, I could experience all different kinds of jobs, and so the desire of being an actor grew inside me and I tried my best to learn until two years ago I started working in theater and short movies. I am extremely happy that I can experience different work fields by being an actor.” ...

October 18, 2020

“I consider myself a writer, journalist, and human rights activists and I live in Amed. In the years between 1997 to 2007 I was a participant in a UN program specialized for less fortunate families, I worked with them for a long duration of time. I have been sued many times because of my writings, being a Kurdish female journalist in Turkey is extremely difficult. I have participated in many women's movement, in 2014 I was working for the Yezidis that were displaced to Turkey during the war against ISIS. I was able to take part in building their camps. I have received many international awards, one of them being dedicated to female journalists and was awarded in Italy. I also received an international award for protecting the people who are in danger. Women fighting is similar to a vast ocean, they have been fighting for centuries and are still fighting. Even if the conditions are terrible, there is still hope when I see brave female activists. Kurdish women in general have are very brave fighting for their rights.” ...

October 18, 2020

“I was working in a beauty salon with a very close friend of mine, she was like a sister to me, and we never left each other. Two and a half years ago, they were attacked by a group in their own house. Their father was the target because he was a politician, but since he wasn't there at the time, his daughters became the victims.The very day after, I received news that she was dead, I couldn't believe it. I quickly went to their house to be sure of the news, and I was shocked when I saw a tent and two pictures of her and her sister right in front of their house. I asked to see her before she was buried, and when I saw her she was pale as a bright light. I was heartbroken, I cried a lot, and my life changed forever. I was depressed after what happened, I never got out of my room, stayed in the dark and didn't speak to anyone. I stayed that way for two and a half years until one day I met some new friends; they helped me a lot to overcome the shock and convinced me that I had to keep going in my life." ...

October 17, 2020

“My dream to become the president started when I saw Iraq's map for the first time, I saw it in one of my books and said that I wanted to be the president of this place. When I was in primary school, I always told my friends and teachers that I wanted to be the president, and they always called me so. As a result, my nickname became Sarok (Kurdish word for president). I am now the head of an organization called Rawti Kurdi (Kurdish Path). We used to hear how people made fun of how an African-American wanted to become the president of the United States, and the same goes for a girl in the Middle East and in Iraq to say I want to be the president. Nevertheless, I know well that nothing is impossible. Life is constantly changing, and everyone is waiting for someone to change things. I will be that change, and I will become the president.” ...

October 17, 2020

“I'm in ninth grade, but I haven't gone back to school in seven months because of COVID19. After schools were shutdown, online learning started, and our village doesn't have any Internet signal. We only have one TV and four of us are students at home. Most of the time we can't even watch educational channels on the TV due to electricity outage, so I spend most of my time reading books because I really want to be a lawyer.” ...