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, 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 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”. ...

September 15, 2021

“We are spouses, we have studied the English language academically and our occupation is teaching the English language. We have always been concerned regarding the withering of our mother tongue (the Hawrami Language), which is unfortunately due to the lack of media; it has caused the speaker to forget the Hawrami language, which is our native tongue. Most of the time, we would observe that Hawrami children shy away from speaking because their Sorani dialect is not fluent. Last year, we wanted to initiate something different to revive the Hawrami language, in a form where the future children and youth are not self-conscious of being Hawrami, and are well aware of their language and culture through scientific methods and hold their heads high”. “As the first two individuals who walk on this path, my wife, who holds a Master’s degree in linguistics and is a Hawrami native, publishes English – Hawrami videos through social media platforms (Instagram). For the second phase, we uploaded the villages and the resorts of Hawraman in English-Hawrami, in the form of a short documentary on Instagram about the residents of the villages, resorts, the construction, the differences between the villages in the aspects of language and behavior, the ceremonies, the religions of Hawraman to introduce them to the world, alongside introducing the language. The third phase, which is our latest project, is establishing the first motion-picture dictionary in Hawrami-English”. ...

August 26, 2021

“Since childhood, I have had a soft spot for drawing. This is why I started doing artistic work in school. In high school, I worked with art instructors that were prominent for drawing such as Akbary Mansouri in Kurdistan. The majority of the people who work with art have divergent definitions for it. To me, art is the meaning of a pleasant livelihood, and this has a different meaning for each individual. The existence of art within every aspect of an artist’s life becomes the reason why human beings can adjust themselves with attributes, locations, and time. Art is the reason for growth, it is the reason for tranquility and grasping life from another perspective, and giving value to the goods life has to offer”. “One of my finest works includes working on rocks and mounts, which is a significant part of the lives of the people of Hawraman, who have established their lives with rocks and stones. I remember when we used to reside in the village, we were a poor household and we were not able to go to class. That was when I left for Tehran for the first time. The first job they assigned to me was working on bitumen roads with a mattock. I will never forget when one evening I worked so hard my hands started bleeding. This was the start of a life filled with diligence that went on and on for years. The repetition of these factors was the reason for my growth and experiencing a knowledgeable life”. ...

July 30, 2021

“We were working on a film on the borders of Bazargan between Iran and Turkey, it was evening and the sun was almost setting. A security guard was on duty, in my heart, I said, “How lovely it must be to be able to view the sunset every evening”. I watched him for a few seconds, my friends were all gone and strayed far from me. I kept on observing the soldier. I could tell he felt uneasy, discomfort and grief from the way he walked. But when he saw me, a smile erupted on his lips. When I saw him, I answered with a smile and a wave. He waved back and I noticed the way he was walking had become stronger and more powerful; I realized that he had become a completely different person. I have to tell the cinema, “Thank you.” For allowing me to view the joy and dreams of humans from up close, and visit various locations in order to perceive human emotions”. ...

July 6, 2021

"Do not stand here, or else we will smash your head with a rock!"“This was the first sentence uttered to me during the Pirshaliar Ceremony in Hawraman, it wounded me from the bottom of my heart. All I wanted to do was to serve my community, compose the ceremony in a scientific script, discuss and introduce it to the world. But my scientific degree was failed to be recognized here, nor my objective. The only thing they recognized in me was my figure as a woman. A woman infused with threats and warnings since the dawn of time, filled with suppression, and silenced voices. I altered my perspective for the first time regarding that situation while I was there; I refused to give up. I was aware that I had to take on a different path, no matter how far, but crucial and evident. Therefore, as a woman, I felt the need to demonstrate my experience in relevance to that sector without any shortcomings. Meaning, I chose a critical perspective, not only for the Pirshaliar Ceremony but generally for Kurdish folk tales that possess a superiority ideology, as a shred of evidence attesting to Kurdish history that has abolished women or disregarded them”. “Frankly, the matters that have been attributed to Kurdish folk tales so far, have had a masculine perspective and have been free from a woman’s stamp. Although, I have considered the aspect that Kurdish female experience is different and has been assaulted within the oppression crossroads. I have been active throughout this sector for 7 years now, even though I have been heavily criticized and opposed. This opposition has been mainly from men because they are not very fond of any altercations in regards to their authority. But I have not gone astray, and it is decided that next year, I will be publishing my first issue within the structure of a book that consists of various divergent readings. I hope to have had served Kurdish women initially, and later on the Kurdish Library as my first tread, even if slightly. Hopefully, from now on we will witness a women’s touch further in this department”. ...

May 29, 2021

“I was 15 years old when I got married, he wasn’t my pick. Disputes and trouble started from the beginning of my marriage. It didn’t last a year and we got divorced. In our society, especially in the villages, they think badly about divorced women, thinking it’s our fault our lives are a mess. It’s very difficult to live in this kind of society as you suffer a lot. There’s a day in my life I will never forget, I had gotten a marriage proposal, and I said I wouldn’t marry him as I don’t like the marriage life. At that time, a relative of ours came and said, “Why don’t you get married as living with your husband is much better than living with your parents”. At that moment, my heart was about to burst as I hated life a lot. It was very strange to me as parents had to demand back what they’ve given you. From that day on, I decided to stand on my own feet and started working. I also started studying alongside my job. I started a new life for myself as I began to work. I proudly live in the society now and depending on myself has given me freedom”. ...

May 24, 2021

“My parents were old when I was in university, and my other siblings didn't take care of them. So, I had to leave university and go back to our village to take care of them. From that moment on I’ve become like parents to them. I spent my life farming and during that time the income from farming wasn’t that much, I started laboring at Azad dam. In order to be able to find a job and not face any problems, I started to wear men's clothing instead of my clothes and from that moment I left my girlhood. Since then, I have been living that way. I face criticism lots of times because of the way I dress but they never stop to think about why I chose it”. ...

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”. ...