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.

December 1, 2023

“My name is Sharbat Ramzaniy, and I’m from Palangan village in Kamyaran. My mother has been a strong and artistic woman; she has taught me many crafts and arts since 15. Today, only my mother and I can knit chenille blankets. Anyone who wants to learn how to do it must come to my mother to teach them. Thank goodness, I make a living on it, it makes me busy, and I also feel proud to know an old style of Kurdish art that is about to be forgotten. I know so many art crafts that if there’s one new to me, I just observe it, and then I’ll start doing it and learn right away. This has made me known as a strong and artistic woman.” ...

November 13, 2022

“Twelve years ago, I became disabled because of an accident. It makes me proud that through my will and the support of my family and friends, the disability could not hold me from working and living. Even though the situation is dreadful now, but life is all about struggling. Since my teenage years, I became interested in my mother tongue, and later I became more invested in language through the writings of Hazhar and Hemn. Through reading their literature, I mastered writing and speaking in the Kurdish language fluently. Furthermore, I bought Kurdish language books and eventually became an instructor for the Kurdish language. For now, I am a volunteer lecturer in our village. I teach Kurdish language to the children who are the hope of our future. They come to me after the end of their school day, they come to my home, and I teach them their mother tongue.” ...

October 23, 2022

“Because of my father’s occupation, I was born in Bandarabbas and grew up in the Arab city of Khorramshahr. Still, because of my love for Kurds and Kurdistan, I preserved my mother tongue in the best way possible, and I speak it fluently. I love the people of Kurdistan so much that I visit a couple of times during Newroz and Pir Shalyar and observe its beauty. Its people, nature, and everything else is exceptional and unique to me and put my emotions and soul at peace. My favorite memories are always those spent in Kurdistan.” ...

October 10, 2022

“I'm not sure how old I am; I have four girls and three boys. I’m from Palangan village in Kamyaran. When my husband and I got married, we were soon able to buy a house and had livestock too. But now, my husband has fallen ill and staying with our youngest son; I’m too attached to the countryside lifestyle and cannot live in the city with them. This loneliness is difficult for me. The most unpleasant memory I have with my husband is when one of our daughters, who wasn’t even too young, got sick, and he took her to the doctor. I stayed in the village with our other children. My husband returned a few days later, and I saw he was alone. Sadly, our daughter passed away, and he buried her on the way home”. ...

August 28, 2022

“Years ago, the first stork came to our village. The villagers were so kind to it that the year after, many more storks returned with it, and this continued until their numbers neared 800 in the Zrebar area. Everyone in the village is aware of the site specified for them, and every year, before their return, we fix the nests for them. These birds have made the village a tourist destination, which is a reason for cheerfulness. Like everyone else in the village, I, too, water the trees in this area, and all the people who have farms here have given up the land for the storks”. ...

September 11, 2022

“The worst day of my life was when a mass-scale avalanche occurred, and the entireness of the village was affected by it. My daughter was seven years old and drowned with seven other people in the current. We couldn’t retrieve their body, and my girl disappeared. In the year 1384 (Solar Calendar), my husband passed away in our garden, and I was left alone. I have no one now; it’s just me and a photo of my husband”. ...

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”. ...

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 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 29, 2022

“My name is Rahman Taqi Zada, and I am 86 years old. I’m from the city of Shno in the Iranian Kurdistan. In my youth, I became familiar with Kurdish singers through radio, especially Hassan Zirek and getting to know him became an obsession for me. No one knows singer Hassan Zirek as much as I do as he stayed with me for three months. I gave him a room in my house and I was at his service. Everyone in Shno knows this. Having been with him in person, I was able to see a significant portion of his life up close and documented them in books for his audience.Sixty-four years ago, I started recording the contemporary singers of that time for the sole reason of my enjoyment at the radio stations. Now, I consider myself to have one of the most extensive archives of Kurdish singers. I have an immense archive that includes the oldest musical and visual instruments to the most modern ones”. ...

June 15, 2022

“This style of yoga that I have chosen to practice is called Ashtanga Yoga, one of the most distinct styles of yoga. I dropped out of college to learn yoga and lived alone for two years in Tehran. I’m so pleased to support those practicing yoga in my city and share my experience with them. I have opened a beautiful yoga club in Sanandaj for two years now, and most of the time, I practice outdoor as nature affects me. What I did, made me famous as a boundary-breaking woman. Once I mastered it and dedicated time, it taught me so many things. Yoga is a special sport for the soul and the body. It can have an effect on bodily illnesses too. My sister was in a lot of pain when she had a migraine, but she got better because of this sport”. ...

July 17, 2022

“My name is Jawad; I’m from Dolaw village in the Sanandaj district. I grew up with bees and beekeeping from childhood. I used to do beekeeping in the same fashion my father and uncles did. As I grew older, I started beekeeping academically and treated the bees the same way. I dedicated a lot of time and effort to it, and in a matter of three years, I became an exemplary beekeeper in the Kurdistan province. In the year 1398 of the Solar Hijri Calendar, I became the exemplary beekeeper in all of Iran.I have learned a lot from bees, such as discipline, cleanness, and calmness.Bees don’t live long, but they work and toil for the duration of their life. Most of the works that bees do are similar to what humans do. To be a beekeeper is to be away from the city and instead be at the heart of nature. It has its highs and lows.” ...