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.

March 29, 2021

“I have had a shop for many years, but due to how expensive shop rents are I have come to setup my business at my father's house. I have set my equipment next to theirs, and am slowly organizing myself. I work in Sanandaj, and my work is unique in all over Iran, but we are not supported at all. I am now thinking about attracting customers from outside of the country. What we do is very difficult, crafting is an art, and it's a shame if it's not developed well enough. During my work, I always make sure the people who work from me learn the work as well, and they make a living out of it”. ...

March 16, 2021

“According to our tradition, if our brothers are older than us, then we have to do whatever they say. I couldn't go to school, so after several years of just staying at home, I went to a shop and learned how to cut women's hair. At first, my family was against it, but when they knew that only women will visit me, they agreed. After years of being an employee, I sold my earrings and opened this little shop. Thankfully, I am now able to make a living for myself and cover my expenses. I am happy as long as I am not constantly staying at home, and I get to know people and hear their stories. I sometimes laugh with them, and sometimes even cry with them”. ...

March 14, 2021

“I have been doing this job for 40 years. When my father passed away I started working immediately to help people. There were few people who were doing this job, each of them was located in a different village. They are all dead now except for me. Relocating broken arms and legs was something that I learned from my father. I have been working for many years and I have never hurt anyone, whenever I didn't have the knowledge to treat someone, I have sent them to the doctor. My house has been always crowded with people in recent years, people come for medicine at midnight. I have never cared about money, I only want to help people, and that's why I want to teach my kids to do the same thing, but they don't like the work unfortunately. I have lost my wife several years ago, but I have never felt alone due to my job. I don't really want much more from God, as long as people are comfortable with me then I am doing well”. ...

March 12, 2021

“When I was introduced to life I was in a nationalistic society, my surroundings were speaking about our mother tongue, a free nation, and human rights and freedom. All of these were difficult concepts for me, and I couldn't understand any of it until I participated in Newroz celebrations; when I was repeating the Kurdish anthem after Hasan Zirak. Right then, I realized that my veins were in need for mother tongue, a free country, human rights and individual freedom. Since that day, I have been living with the hope that we will achieve those things one day. The best time of my life as a Kurdish girl would be when my country is free”. ...

March 9, 2021

“In the old days, we spent all of our time working, life now has become much better for women, let alone for men. Life is generally easier. My brother was martyred and my son was killed, and that was very difficult for me. Sudden death is usually much harder to deal with, in particular my son's passing was the most difficult. He was playing with one of his friends, they had a gun and it accidentally went off. He has a wife and two sons. Since we are sure that the whole thing was an accident, we are in good terms with the family of his friend. My brother lost his life stepping on a mine. These have been very difficult for us. Nevertheless, as long as I stand on my feet and age doesn't defeat me, I'll be okay because I don't want to be a burden on my children. During the past few years there have been many senior people that aren't able to walk anymore and spend their days on a bed”. ...

March 2, 2021

“The best time of my life is when I listen to music and I start doing art. I respect all types of art because they completely change our lives, and this is why I started drawing caricatures and doing photography. I have dedicated a lot of time for photography lately because it has given me so much joy. The worst position to be in is when as a human you exist, but have no benefits for your surroundings. To me, life is an opportunity and we must take the chance to get the best out of it because that will reflect the whole world. We cannot just let life go past us. Most of the time you can control your life, and design the future the way you want to. The future is important to me because I know that I'll be thinking about now, so I have to make sure that now is going the way I want it to”. ...

February 27, 2021

“Photos never die, they stay with you. I am really upset by what's finite and separation, not only for humans, but for moments, too. That's why I always try to photograph the moments. I have always believed in myself and my desires. My future, is like a child that I have raised. I always try to live well with beautiful thoughts. I like the challenges that come my way, if a path doesn't have any obstacles, is it really a good path? So far, whatever has had value to me I have photographed. I am currently taking photos of happy moments of the families in the city. Something that has really helped me has been my thoughts, thinking about knowing myself and where my life is at. Knowing yourself makes your decisions easy, you know where to go and how long you have left. A nice thought about the future, can provide a nice life for you”. ...

February 22, 2021

“When I turned 20, I started doing any work I could, and this allowed me to travel with my friends and have more financial freedom. Any time I traveled, I met people from different backgrounds and beliefs. I started to realize that every time I knew something new about these people, I also knew a bit more about myself. Previously, I hadn't even thought about knowing myself more, but after those travels my life changed completely. I understood that everyone had flaws same as I do. I used to think about my flaws and get upset, but after a while I realized that I needed to change things in my life. I also got to know a girl that made me even love myself more. Currently, I love myself more than anything and I am very happy to be fully understanding myself”. ...

February 19, 2021

“I was very happy as a teenager, I hadn't gotten married and I loved embroidery so I used to make hats, socks and other things. I then got married, listening to the people around me. We didn't know each other so it was an arranged marriage, but we loved each other dearly after a while. He hadn't joined the military yet, so he had to go away after three months when we got married, and stayed there for two years. During those two years he only visited back two times because they weren't flexible like they are now back then. It was very difficult for me because I was a newly married woman and I didn't know anyone because I had come from another village. I was a smart girl, I did all of my work, and working in the village could be difficult. My mother in law had little kids and I had to take care of them as well. That's how we used to live”. “After my husband decided to move houses, we started a new life. We didn't have anything to take with us. My father in law had said that we can have the house after his passing, but my husband didn't accept it and decided to work for a home because he thought that the other kids deserved it more. We both started working, I was doing embroidery and selling clothing items. I have never been afraid of time until now. I have gotten old now and I am afraid that my legs will give in soon. Once you're old, you will get sick easily. I now can't see well, I have high cholesterol, and have many other illnesses. I wish I could go outside of the country for treatment, but I can't. If I get sick and unable to move, there will be no one to help my husband. We really don't have anyone except for ourselves. We didn't have any children and I cry and pray every night asking why we couldn't have any children. That's the worst thing in my life”. ...

February 17, 2021

“My fear is for the bad path that the society is going through, it wasn't used to be like this. There was less money, and life was simpler and better. There is no doubt that good and bad exists at all times, but I believe that now the bad is much more. In today's world, people trick each other without any remorse for their own benefits. My advice for people is to be good with each other and help each other out, we all live on this planet. That's why we should treat each other as sisters, brothers, and most importantly as humans and try to bring forth a brighter future, and don't let darkness overtake us. I can say that difficulties were more than good times in my life. My mother left me while I was a child, and I grew up without the love of my mother. I got married as a teenager, it was an arranged marriage, but we love each other very much and are very happy together. I live for today because no one can tell what happens in the future, and life can end in a second. That's why I live for today not tomorrow, I always try to live in the moment”. ...

February 16, 2021

“The best time of my life was when I started to know myself more, I knew where my place is in the world and where I should be going, and art gave that rhythm. Negative thoughts are like people who are in your ship, and does not want your ship to reach land, they try to drown you and take you to the bottom of the ocean, but you need to remember that you are the sailor of this ship, never let these thoughts dominate your mind and soul and get them off as soon as you can. Anyone with any way of thinking, if they don't harm the society, then their existence is valid. My darkest times were when I had lost myself, I had created a dark world for myself that I could not be optimistic in. My biggest goal is for my music to reach the world and introduce Kurdish music in a different way to the world. Every day of my life is dedicated for changing for the better, while I learn and understand more”. ...

February 14, 2021

“Life is full of risks, and I'm scared of many things, animals as well as humans. However, we have been brought up to only fear God, so that he doesn't take revenge from us. Growing up, I slowly started to love God, and understood that I don't have to fear God, and I could spend my time as a friend with God. This helped me to spend my days in happiness, I'm happy whenever I speak to God. Now, I don't even get upset from most things, like wearing bad clothes. I found a way to love God and my purpose in life was to be happy”. ...