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.

January 19, 2022

“Every so often, I work the entire week. It is work, and I have to flow with it. The way things operate is completely different from before. Nowadays, customers send their location, and I easily and swiftly deliver their desired food. When I am on my motorcycle, I daydream hundreds of times until I reach my destination. I have completely merged with the city’s streets. Listening to music until I reach my destination has helped me as much as my motorcycle! If it weren’t for music, who can withstand the street’s traffic, the chilly wind, and the coldness and warmth of the seasons? One night, I was delivering food for a customer. I will never forget that night since I was extremely hungry. I was standing in traffic, and I noticed that the moon resembled a pizza. I almost pulled over and ate the pizza. Later on, I snapped out of it and asked myself, “What are you doing?” That was one of the many fantasies that I continuously have while I am driving on the motorcycle." ...

January 16, 2022

“I am afraid of people.I am afraid of what man hides behind his face mask. My name is Ezzat Habash, and I am 49 years old. I have spent many years abroad, and I have learned and met many women. Fear is always present in my heart before I get to know anyone, because the sincerity of a person is not revealed through kind words, or innocent features. Therefore, we should always be careful during meeting new people." ...

January 12, 2022

“I have been a band seller for 45 years. This job was left to my father. Mi ordered the music. There used to be a lot of interest but now no one is showing interest. Everything has gone digital. I see my childhood and my whole life in this work. My factory is small but so far, I have archived about 20 thousand bands. From local artists to famous artists and artists whose names have been forgotten, the band has everything in my archive. They are amazed when artists come to my workshop and see their band. Because they too have forgotten their bands and have nothing in their hands. Ever since I started this business, I have always been selling a band or even picking it up for my archive. If a band is left in my hand to give me a worldly home, I will not sell it. Because I gave the order to this work and it means a lot to me. They come from many countries and receive bands from me. Some want 10, some 20 bands. I really want to sell the band to people who know their value. "Because ignorant people listen once and then drop it." ...

January 9, 2022

“I was very young when I got married, but I was forced into it because the marriage was a wife for a wife*. Marriage unfolds the gates of bliss for humans, but sadly, for me, it was the opposite. Unfortunately, a while after I got married, my brother passed away. The death of my brother was a wound that was difficult to heal. My only son’s love and affection made the entire process durable. Not to mention our strenuous livelihood that had disturbed our peace. Despite all that poverty, my husband developed an illness that did not have a cure. We could not find treatment anywhere. I will never forget his final night in life. I stayed up all night making paste. I was immensely tired. When I heard the call to prayer (Adhan), I said, “Hassan, let us pray and then sleep.” He said, “I have too much pain. I cannot sleep.” On that night, his howls and wails could reach the other side of the world. But due to poverty, I did not have anywhere to turn to. One of our neighbors came and gave me some money so that I could take him into the city with a horse. Unfortunately, he passed away in the middle of the road and left me by my lonesome for all eternity." ...

October 21, 2021

“I have been a plastic arts teacher for children ever since I was 19 and I enjoy cooking, designing, and painting. The children call me “miss Soreia”. They love me very kindly. My marital life damaged both my art and my own being. It caused me a world full of melancholy and I did not leave the house for two months. But I started once again and this time, with a new style. I rented out a small space which was in a basement. I taught lessons and would paint there. I stayed there for 3 years and the number of my students exceeded 100 students. The basement was no longer responsive. I received the license for an industrial school and prolonged it in an official form. So far, 15 of my students have received acknowledgment diplomas and international gold medals in Belarus, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Japan, Spain. My only wish is for my children’s exhibition to be opened in every city. In my dreams, I travel by bicycle, take on photography and write about the food and the spices of the cities I have not been to”. ...

October 7, 2021

“I recall when I was 14, we had a tricycle wagon and we would sell sunflower seeds. The tires on the wagon belonged to a bicycle. We were a few brothers and we would take shifts and head over to the wagon to sell sunflower seeds on daily basis. Therefore, my father purchased a bicycle for us and we would use it for transportation. When the tires on the bike and the wagon would puncture, there weren’t any mechanics in my city. As a result, when my father would visit Erbil to import nuts, he would take the tires for adjustments. Therefore, I pondered upon the idea of fixing them myself. 21 years ago, I would rent out my bike during Eid and other celebrations up until the point where I became a bicycle mechanic. At the moment, I own a shop for adjusting bicycles, where we purchase, sell, and fix bikes. Thank heavens, my family’s livelihood depends on it. I have found the route to my own occupation and I am very pleased with it. People visit me a lot in Akre, alongside villagers”. ...

October 5, 2021

“From early childhood up to now, I have walked through an arduous path in life. Despite all the difficulties I have witnessed, I believe that I have been successful. But I am never satisfied because I feel as though I do not have much expertise. I have a doctorate degree in Urban Planning, although generally, I do not believe in educational levels. Solely 29 years of service in the education sector as a school teacher calms me down a bit. I feel as though I am at the first stage of pragmatic ideology development and I have a long road ahead of me. I immensely value advancing tourism. Hawraman region, which is where I live, is a suitable platform for the development of adequate tourism propositions. Perhaps this was the reason why I pursued an education in Urban Planning of the city with an exceptional vision for tourism evolution. I strive to leave trails for the future of the children of Kurdistan in this region”. ...

October 3, 2021

“According to my mother’s words, there was a lot of argumentation about what to name me. Later on, to my aunts’ preferences, a name was chosen for me that involved the name (Ziyad). The reason for naming me that name leads back to my aunts being huge admirers of the artist (Ziyad Asaad). Moreover, my father is called (Asaad), it was more suitable. To be frank, I do not have an issue with the name, and it appeals to me to an extent. Back when I was a child, my friends would say, “His name is Ziyad Asaad.” In our alley. It was very ordinary to me. At the time, I did not think that artist was that well-known. But as I finished my education, and engaged with further people, I figured out why so many people admire this artist. But I will not conceal that I do not attend to him, and his songs are not my favorite. Nevertheless, I would like to see him up close and tell him, “You are the person I was named after”. ...

September 30, 2021

“I was born in an affluent family, but I have always desired to have my own independent business. I have never preferred a job where an individual order you around. I have had the very same opinion on education as well, meaning I do not consider employment as independent labor. I discontinued my education at the age of 18, in hopes of standing on my own feet. Initially, I established a shop and worked in it. After I drew people’s attention to myself and built trust, I attempted to utterly indulge myself in my job, so that I do not detach from the market and the business. For precisely two years, I did not grant myself one day off. I was able to reach my intentions and establish an adequate foundation for my business. I have faced a great deal of misfortune amidst this career, but nothing is as unpleasant as continuously traveling to Sulaymaniyah from Halabja for commodities. Traveling on that road always comes with calamities. I have even had a car accident once, I still suffer from pain in my legs”. ...

September 28, 2021

“My mother used to tell me, “I was about 2 or 3 years old, only recently starting to walk. One day, a woman came to our house and said, “Your son is chubby and beautiful.” After that and by a couple of days, I came down with a fever and my temperature would not drop. They took me to a health center, the doctor prescribed an injection, and an acquainted nurse gave it to me. From then on, the injection did not become my treatment. Instead, it became the cause for losing both of my legs. They searched everywhere for a medicament, but they could not find it”. I have not gone to school, because I came down with Palsy in both my legs. I am now 45 years old and have been married for 15 years to a woman similar to me, and we have 4 children. I have my 150,000 IQD disability salary, and it is insufficient for me. But for the past 4 years, I have set up a cake and Pepsi shop inside a school and the teachers have been of great assistance to me. But it has been 2 years and my condition has been a bit unpleasant due to the Coronavirus and school doors closing”. ...

September 27, 2021

“I am from the Bnary Kusrat village at the brim of Dukan lake. Ever since I have known myself, I have not gone to school and my life depended on agriculture. By planting tobacco, sunflower, and watermelon, I provide for myself and have a minor salary from my Peshmerga days. But as of now, I am a farmer and I am occupied with producing sunflowers on my farm, whereas I have evolved 12 acres of land into sunflower plants this year. I regret not going to school but I am delighted to have 5 sons, who are all educated. Despite my immense efforts with them, they are yet to finish school. Their contrast with their mother and I is that they are able to read and write, and we are illiterate. But we have occupied ourselves with agriculture and I sell our products in Sulaymaniyah and Pshdar and provide for my family with it”. ...

September 21, 2021

“Back in the day, the Syrian regime did not accept Kurdish education. Anyone who would study Kurdish would get seized or abducted. This is what my father used to inform me of when I was a child. But with the beginning of the revolution in Rojava, the foundation of establishments and agencies, and evicting the Syrian regime in 2012, the procedures for teaching the Kurdish curriculum were initiated, and I started learning in Kurdish. I did my utmost to succeed with the support of my family because my parents were teachers. I was successful in my Baccalaureate assessments and received first place in the city of Qamishli. At the present moment, I am studying medicine at Rojava University in Qamishli, with the intent to help the people of my city”. ...