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 21, 2021

“It’s been seven months since my father passed away, and I grew up with my mother and my father's first wife, she has been so good to me, and I still lover her like a mother. She always wants me to visit her because she doesn't have any kids of her own. Whenever she visits me, I hide her clothes in some place and I hang on to her so she doesn't leave. Day by day, she gets older and less able, and that makes me really sad. I am still very young, but I will be always be by her side to keep her company, and do whatever she wants me to do”. ...

January 18, 2021

“Since I have a passion for cultural heritage, I was appointed as the administration assistant for the cultural heritage center for protecting historical sights and cultural inheritance. I have visited many locations and have documented them as photos and film, and that was the reason I started making sculptures for historical sights, as well as other numerous sculptures. People here are unaware of their history, they don't know how many well-known people we have had and what kind of a history we have. By doing this job, I can open a door for people see those sculptures and to familiarize themselves with the history. For me personally, I take a lot of joy that my work is seen by people and when people see my work in the future they'll think of me”. ...

January 17, 2021

“I have many relatives who have been martyred. I have been living alone for many years, my daughters have gotten married, I only have one son and he's married a Persian lady. A couple of years ago, I became familiar with medicinal herbs, he/she told me to collect some for them, and I started searching everywhere and collected many kinds of it. All of my life became about collecting herbs, and many people are amazed by how much I have collected. Nevertheless, I go to a different place each day, and bring whatever I can get my hands on. I only have place for myself to sit down in my house. I can sell any of these for 15 to 20 Iranian tomans. I don't need anyone and I actually help my children, too”. ...

January 14, 2021

“My father had this shop, when people's teapots, portable fireplaces were broken, he would fix them. This is after people started using gas for fire because they used to use logs and coal before. I was always going to the shop with my father, after a while I started to do this job full-time and I'm still doing it. My job is very risky because I have to work with smoke or use chemicals or acid, so I have to be very careful. People have moved on to newer devices such as teapots that work with gas or electric teapots, and that's affected my job negatively, but I'm still thankful to God. I appreciate the fact that I can make a living for my family and myself”. ...

January 12, 2021

“In 1358 of Solar Hijri year, I got my diploma with good grades. I had planned to go to college and study agricultural engineering, but due to several issues I had I couldn't go to college. Back then, my father used to sell groceries, and I started working with him. After several years, my father was very ill and couldn't continue working, so I took over. I figured after a while that the business wasn't making enough money, and so I opened a small factory, I bought milk and yogurt from villages and turn them to cheese, dogh, and oil and then sell them in this shop. Even though I didn't really like the job from the beginning, but when God provides you'll have to accept it. God gave me the responsibility to carry my parents through their last years and take care of them. So far, I have worked well and God has always been on my side”. ...

January 10, 2021

“We were in love for five years, and we couldn't get married because back then people were often just getting married under the condition of giving back a wife to the opposite family. After this tradition had vanished, we were married. After living several years with our families, we moved to here. We have been through a lot of ups and downs. The best day of my life was my wedding day as well as the day my first child was born. I have had many difficult times as well, we were going through a rough time for a while and that lead to my sickness, and now I have physical problems. My advice for people is to try and be with your loved ones. The worst things I have seen have been genital mutilation in females, unfortunately it is tragic to experience and was the scariest thing any girl would face back then. It's so traumatic that it affects our lives forever”. ...

January 8, 2021

“The most important thing that I have lost in life was my husband. We weren't in a relationship before getting married, I was just fifteen when I got married, and I had never seen him before then. That's The way it was back then, girls didn't get to know who they were marrying. It's true that there are many men that are not good with their wives because of patriarchy and toxic masculinity, but I'll always say that the best time of my life was when I was with my husband. My husband passed away 17 years ago, and I wanted to take care of my children so I didn't get married again. There nights that I cry for my loneliness. Thankfully, my children love me, they call me regularly and ask how I'm doing, but there are times when you face a problem, and you don't want to involve your children, that's when life is hard. My advice for people is that when they get married, they should decide to do it once, and not get married too soon and then get bored of life. Men get exhausted outside of the house, and many girls don't acknowledge that they have to patient with their husbands”. ...

January 5, 2021

“I was in sixth grade when I first started doing sports professionally, and I have been doing it for six years now. The best things in life to me is when my family are safe and healthy, and I can see a smile on my mother's face. I want to participate in the 2020 Olympics, on an international platform and become the pride of Kurdistan. I have been away from sports for a year now due to injury, and except for Mariwan's physical center, no other institution has protected me. I hope I can get well soon and get a sponsor because doing sports in this city is really difficult. I am one of the few people in the city that lifts people's hopes, it's a shame that I can't do sports, I really want to get back to it soon”. ...

January 4, 2020

“My father had a big shop in Mahabad's Bazar, he was sewing blankets, and I really liked the colors and shapes on the blanket. Those shapes and designs all have names, but I didn't know that as a kid. My older brother and I used to go to my father's shop, and my brother really liked doing sports, so he used to go to training. One day we woke up and found out that my father has had a stroke, and can no longer work. We went to the shop for ten days so it wouldn't close down, and because my brother was always working out, he used to say that he can't be at the shop and it was too much work for him. So, I took over regardless of how young I was. My father passed away after 10 years, so it was just me and the shop. I still have my shop, by I can't work as I used to because of my age, so often times when someone wants something done I just send them to people that I have taught and have a shop now”. ...

January 2, 2021

“After serving in the army, I knew that I was a grown up and know more about life now, so I got married. I think after getting married I became more aware, and now I can say that I'm fully aware of my surroundings. Marriage does limit things in your life, but it's very important for the future and the way you think. I chose my wife, we were in a relationship for two years before I tell my family about her. I was young back then, and we didn't have no mobile phones or anything of that sort to communicate with others, I couldn't show her affection. It was very difficult, but it was different from now. Day and night, we were outside writing letter and crying for our lovers, hoping that they pick up the letter we planted somewhere on the street. I am now more conservative than I used to be. There has been a lot of things that I had wished to happen and never happened, or even when they had happened they weren't the way I had imagined them”. ...

December 31, 2020

“Girls in earlier days were innocent, they never put makeup on, and all they did was putting on this hat and this type of clothing. Life was difficult back then, we weren't as brave as they are now that they fight to be equal with men. We used to even act shy around our husbands, as well as any other men that lived with us in the house. I always wear this hat, whether it's cold or warm, night or day. I even wear it while sleeping, I tightly put my headscarf on. I wear ever since I was a kid, it has been about 70 or 80 years. I am used to it now. This type of hat was common in this area, but not many people who still wear this in our village, just some older people in my village and some in Mahabad and Bokan. I can't buy gold, so I just wear this blue necklace so people don't jinx me. I put basil and herbs that have aroma on my necklace so I smell good, so people don't say she is an old lady that doesn't smell good”. ...

December 29, 2020

“While I was in my mother's womb and my entire family was gathering in my grandfather's garden during the summer, due to his love for our village's snowy mountains, my uncle named me Kwestan (Kwestan translates to snowy mountains). However, after a while when Ismail Sardashty released his song (Kochar), people called me Kochar. I sometimes get confused between the two names myself. I'm 20 years old now and have studied until the fifth grade, I was a very hard-working student. I would've loved to continue studying and I still feel sad about it, but I couldn't because my father was a soldier and it was very hard to continue. In recent years, people of my village have started giving more freedom to girls and value them to a point that males and females are close to being equal in all aspects. This can be especially noticed during Newroz celebrations. I hope all Kurds see all humans equally". ...