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 18, 2020

“I consider myself a writer, journalist, and human rights activists and I live in Amed. In the years between 1997 to 2007 I was a participant in a UN program specialized for less fortunate families, I worked with them for a long duration of time. I have been sued many times because of my writings, being a Kurdish female journalist in Turkey is extremely difficult. I have participated in many women's movement, in 2014 I was working for the Yezidis that were displaced to Turkey during the war against ISIS. I was able to take part in building their camps. I have received many international awards, one of them being dedicated to female journalists and was awarded in Italy. I also received an international award for protecting the people who are in danger. Women fighting is similar to a vast ocean, they have been fighting for centuries and are still fighting. Even if the conditions are terrible, there is still hope when I see brave female activists. Kurdish women in general have are very brave fighting for their rights.” ...

October 17, 2020

“I'm in ninth grade, but I haven't gone back to school in seven months because of COVID19. After schools were shutdown, online learning started, and our village doesn't have any Internet signal. We only have one TV and four of us are students at home. Most of the time we can't even watch educational channels on the TV due to electricity outage, so I spend most of my time reading books because I really want to be a lawyer.” ...

October 11, 2020

“I have been doing the same work for about seventy two years now. I started working for an Armenian man when I was eight years old, and I learned all about the work from him. My boss left Mardin, but I already had learned everything so the business stayed with me. He was a very good man, we had different ideas on things but we are still all humans and live on this planet together. He really loved me, and when he left all I had was a couple of pots and a Tandoor. I was constantly making things and sold them for profit. I had a lot of assistants who left me one by one, some of them left to the Eastern cities, some left their jobs, and some of them started new jobs and got rich. I still meet a couple of them and they always ask, "Are you still doing pottery?" I love my work, and I really don't care about getting rich, I stay thankful in which ever the days take me. Not many people do this job anymore, so no one wants to learn it, and that makes me really sad." ...

September 27, 2020

“It was 1974, I was sitting down with one of my friends, and a gentleman was busy reading here. On the cover of his book there was a photo of a man, and he was reading loud. I went to him and asked him who the man was on the cover of his book, he told me that it was Albert Louis Gabriel, a French historian. In 1930, the governor of Diyar Bakir decided to take down some of the cities’ historic towers, and once Gabriel is aware of this, he notifies other writers in Turkey. Thanks to Gabriel, the process of destroying the towers was stopped. I was very happy to hear this story, and so I decided to hang some of his photos in my office.” ...

September 23, 2020

“I am twenty-one years old and I work in Istanbul. I traveled back to our village to take a break from work. I have come to prepare the surroundings of this small pond for picnics. Without the use of concrete, I want to recreate the nature that was once here. People started loving the place and they come here often for picnics. I am delighted that our village is known for its beauty. A lot of people stay at their homes because of the Covid-19 outbreak, but once they come out, they want to go to see nature, and this is the perfect place for that.” ...

September 18, 2020

“We used to be farmers, we had a farm with lots of animals. However, we physically can't do the work now. Each summer we sell seeds now, tomatoes, green peppers, and eggplants, once they have grown, we sell them. Each summer, we take the seeds, plant them in our lands and sell the remaining. My wife and I work together, it is only us. I know that we are getting older, but that doesn't bother us. We are making a living for ourselves. Life used to be easier back then, now it if pretty difficult.” ...

September 15, 2020

“I am Muhammed, I work as a photographer in Amed. I started this job at an early age. I took my first photo in 1970, which was my wife’s. In 1974 it was published in Ankara’s magazine. I started working as a journalist in 1976. Since that year and until 1992, I continued as a journalist and photographer and worked with many of the Turkish newspapers and agencies. After 1992, I had no choice but to leave my job. After that, I got busy with culture and arts research, some of which were published in several newspapers. In these last 10 years, I have started painting as well.” “In 2017, the World Arts Federation identified me as a photographer and in 2018, they awarded me the arts prize as an artist. So far, I have been chosen by 20 photography organizations from different countries as an honorary member. I take photos of historical places and nature and I am now working on the Kurdish artists’ portraits. So far, I have taken pictures of 200 Kurdish artists in Duhok, Sulaimani, Rania, and Hawler. I have opened 5 photography exhibitions in southern Kurdistan, two in Amedi and 12 in Batman, Urfa, and the USA.” ...

September 5, 2020

“I am 35 years old and I am from the Dape region in Alaziz. I have been working as a journalist in Istanbul for 10 years, but I have always thought of village work. I once met with some friends in Dersim who do agriculture. After that meeting, I had the idea of leaving journalism altogether and coming to live in the village.When we are planting, we come to the field early, we work for a while and then eat breakfast. We take breaks because of the heat. During the breaks, some friends read books and others swim. That is how well we spend our days.” ...

August 31, 2020

“I started medical work in Amed in 2012. I now work in a children’s clinic in the newborns department. At the same time, I lead the Amed Doctors Union. All over the world and in Kurdistan as well, a doctor’s work is not just being a doctor, because it is not just treating someone’s health. We fight for human rights as well.This job has its own difficulties. It’s true that it used to be very difficult, but it has increased even more now. Health departments in Kurdistan are currently under a lot of crises and issues.The Coronavirus was the most difficult for us and the problems are always on the rise. Health department workers used to work a lot, but the number of patients recently increased due to the Coronavirus, and their work increased along with that. We used to do one job, but now it’s two jobs and our work keeps increasing.” ...

August 28, 2020

We used to do farming and herding, it has been almost two years that we have started farming again with six of my friends. We thought about starting herding again, but we came up with this new idea and started it. We saw the decrease in produce, so we started. People are successful when they have their own products. This is not just for an income, it is also to encourage people to go back to farming and production. Any country that doesn’t have products will cease to exist. That is why we value this work in Dersim and it is necessary for everyone to do something and produce something. ...