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.

August 17, 2022

“My name is Amir Hamw, and I’m 11 years old from Qarah Tapa village in Afrin. My family and I left our hometown five years ago because of the constant bombardment by the Turkish state. This is what my family retells me. I don’t remember much about our village except that my friends and I were playing football and suddenly we heard the sound of aircraft bombardment everywhere. My father tells me we will go back one day because it is our land. This is my only dream; to return to my village. Now, I live in Hasaka city, I have new friends here, and we play football daily. Dust arises on the football field from our passionate playing. Sometimes, my friends and I collect money to buy a ball and play with it. I direct the team and wear Cristiano Ronaldo’s jersey, whom I love so much and want to become a professional player like him.” ...

August 18, 2022

“I’m 55 years old, and I’m from Palangan village. Since childhood, I have been involved in traditional women’s works, making duvets, tambourines, and cotton ropes. My uncle bought a sewing machine for the family, and when he noticed how much I liked it, he gifted it to me, and I became the family's seamstress. In the old days, it was a common practice for people who needed sewing work to call the seamstress over to their home once a year and sew their cloth there. Previously, we only had a few men who worked as seamsters. When they came over and worked on their manual treadle sewing machines, I observed their way of work and learned their techniques. Thus, I became the only seamstress in the village. I got married in the solar year 1363 (1984-5 Gregorian calendar), and my husband died a year later. I was pregnant at that time. Since then, I have covered the family’s expenses by working as a seamstress; half of the people of the village come to me for their sewing needs as they’re satisfied with my work. Personally, I wear the old style of Kurdish clothes, and now people want to wear those styles too and revive them”. ...

March 23, 2022

“I have been working as a blacksmith for 52 years. I began when I was 10 and I am still working. I started in 1969. For 9 years I worked under the supervision of my employer. In 1978, I opened my own factory. In those years, people engaged their children in such works. When we moved from the village to the city, my father brought me to a blacksmith. His name was Ismail. My father handed me over to him and said ‘my son is entrusted to God and entrusted to you’. May God be pleased with him, he loved me very much and taught me blacksmithing. Our work used to be very difficult but the money was good. Our workload decreased by 90 percent after technology advanced and the machines came out. I make axes and billhooks. Mainly villagers around the city are purchasing them. The most important thing of the job is putting the iron in water. Each blacksmith has their own way, some use oil and some use water. I use water. If you don't use water then it is not iron. Each iron goes into the fire 11 times and then we make axes and billhooks. We had 4 employees but due to the economic situation we are now 3 people. That's ...

March 27, 2022

“There are many people who have misconceptions about villagers. They think they are ill-educated and ignorant! Being enlightened has nothing to do with clothes and the place and way of living! Living in a village does not mean that we are not aware of technology and the political and economic situation. Nowadays social media is the fastest way to keep you informed of all things. But our differences in some things have led to that misunderstanding. We enjoy the mounds and hills instead of the tall buildings. It is true we don't have a bazaar but seeing the plains and birds makes us very comfortable. Nowadays life is more about interests. Wherever you have a better life, you move there. I lived in the city for a few years. It's difficult to live there. I worked for twenty days a month and the payment was not enough for us! But now I earn enough money for a month from one week of work, in addition to clean air and good health”. ...

March 30, 2022

“It is clear to everyone that adolescence is the beginning of the process of enjoying things. Sadly, I didn't get that enjoyment. Because I am the only child of my mother. The lack of siblings has made my responsibility more difficult. Aside from doing all the work of the house, I’m always trying to keep my mother from being bored with that loneliness. Living in a house without waiting for a father to come back in the evenings is not easy! But in spite of all the misery, having a kind mother makes me thankful. She has raised and educated me in a way that only God can reward her for that. Whenever I’m bored and tired, I remind myself of the times when my mother didn't say no for anything I asked. So I won't feel tired as long as she is alive. I remember complaining about a job once, and a man asked, "Is your mother still alive?" I said yes. "So you must not complain about life," he said. I did not understand that at the time. Now I know how hopeful his answer is”. ...

April 6, 2022

“My name is Rumina. I'm 18 years old and I'm from Afrin, Northern Syria. I used to play Buzuq when I was a child, but my father suggested that I learn to play violin. I started studying in an institute and learned playing violin very well. I currently teach 25 students at Kevana Zêrîn Center. The worst moment in my life that I can never forget was when we were playing our instruments in the institute, Turkey started bombing my city Afrin in January 2018. We didn't know what to do. It was such a dark day! When we were displaced from Afrin, I only brought my violin. My dream is to form an orchestra group and play in our village with the presence of all the villagers”. ...

April 10, 2022

“We have been friends since primary school. We didn't have enough time in school, but since we were neighbors, we spent most of our time together. We finished school together. I don't remember ever being angry with each other. We are alike in most of our things, except for our height! And people only see that difference! I don't understand why people make "height" a basis for friendship? Each of us has been told hundreds of times that “You are like number one and zero”. But those comments have strengthened our relationship. We are university students, unfortunately we hear such comments there as well. I find it strange, where is their consciousness to think that way?. But we respect our friendship and nothing cools us down. Let's not let color, race, height and style prevent two people from being friends and loving each other”. ...

April 3, 2022

“My name is Kafia Ahmadi and I am 105 years old. The drought has reduced agricultural production in recent years so I was forced to divide my lands among my children and I stopped gardening. Recently, I started knitting socks and making colorful blankets and dolls. They have become like my mother and sister now. I don’t waste any time; I spend all my time making these, and tourists find them fascinating. Because of the high demand, I ask my grandchildren to make them for me, then give them a portion of the profit. I have around 150 grandchildren who happily come to see me and are proud of me”. ...

April 17, 2022

“My name is Roody and I'm 31 years old. In 2016, I thought about starting a project in Qamishli under the name of Story of Nation, but the circumstances were not helpful. I have started it now again, and the project involves taking photos of people's faces from all the different groups and backgrounds in Rojava, furthermore improving the coexistence amongst the people. Every night, I make plans for the next day. I schedule a time with the person I want to take pictures of and then start the shooting. Some of the photographs are spontaneous, and others the people asked me to take them.So far I have taken more than 70 photos, and a while back, I opened an exhibition. I sold some of the photographs and donated the money to a cancer treatment hospital. For the photos that were not sold, I gifted them to the individuals, which made them really happy”. ...

April 20, 2022

“My name is Roody and I'm 31 years old. In 2016, I thought about starting a project in Qamishli under the name of Story of Nation, but the circumstances were not helpful. I have started it now again, and the project involves taking photos of people's faces from all the different groups and backgrounds in Rojava, furthermore improving the coexistence amongst the people. Every night, I make plans for the next day. I schedule a time with the person I want to take pictures of and then start the shooting. Some of the photographs are spontaneous, and others the people asked me to take them. So far I have taken more than 70 photos, and a while back, I opened an exhibition. I sold some of the photographs and donated the money to a cancer treatment hospital. For the photos that were not sold, I gifted them to the individuals, which made them really happy”. ...

April 27, 2022

“My name is Snoor and I’m 30 years old. After finishing primary school, I started experiencing some body-functioning complications caused by nervous system dysfunction. After a while, it made me entirely unable to stand on my feet. My sister also suffers from this disorder. Movement is extremely difficult for us; my mom has dedicated her life to aiding us. In recent years, drawing and painting have given me so much power, so much that I spend my days practicing to improve and gain more from it. Even though it takes me longer to finish a painting, mingling with the colors has broken the boundaries for me, and I can overcome the limitations of this disorder. I hope that I will be able to open a solo exhibition one day, showcase my artworks to people and gain their support so I can be stronger”. ...

May 5, 2022

“People call me Rashoi Saz. For me, life means music. This Saz is the closest person to my heart. Every day, I make people happy by playing my saz in the bazaar, and I’m sure they all love me for it. They always want to pay for my meals, and they have never charged me in teashops. When I come or leave the bazaar, people honk and stop their cars for me on the street. I am self-taught in music. Otherwise, I don’t even know how to write my own name. Muhammed Arif’s voice brought me into the world of music. So, I don’t spend a night without listening to him. When I want to learn a new melody, I repetitively listen to it and then try to imitate it. It was tough for me during the quarantine because I had no life without the bazaar. To put it better, my life depends on the money people give me either for playing music for them or just because of how much they love me”. ...