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 25, 2020

“When I started reading the old books about the foundation of music, I went all the way to even read about the Pharos and the Meds. Something that grabbed my attention was that they had used music to treat illnesses. I went deeper into this, and started treating illnesses myself playing a violin because it is an instrument that touches your soul and gives you peace. I have a friend that's always stressed, I once asked him to come and have a cup of coffee with me. When he came, I saw that his hands were shaking so I told him to close his eyes, I will play him some music and asked for his opinion. When I started playing, I noticed his stress getting less, and I was sure that music can treat illnesses indeed. I researched more about it and saw that there are centers in Japan, United States, and even Dubai that work on healing through music. I can diagnose people through seeing their eyes and feeling their pulse, and then play them a piece of music.” ...

October 25, 2020

“After graduating from college, I became a lecturer and started working in several universities. Most of them were in Lebanon, but after the war on Kobane between the Kurdish forces and ISIS insurgents, I fled to Turkey. Once I went back to Rojava I saw my house was destructed due to the airstrikes that had happened. The money I made by lecturing was not covering the damages on my house, it wasn't even enough for myself. I started learning how to put designs on glass. I have been doing this job for eight years and I am very happy with my work. I will continue as much as I can.” ...

October 24, 2020

“I have been working with concrete for 35 years, even though the work has gotten very hard for me because of my age, I still have to do it to make a living for my kids. My son study's in Damascus university and all of my kids go to school, and I am very proud of the fact that I make money enough for them to continue their education and provide a better life for them than my own life.During my younger years I could prepare about 30 meters of concrete, but now I can do about 10 meters at most. None of my friends work anymore, but I must continue to provide a living for my kids.” ...

October 22, 2020

“When I was a student in 1955, my father and grandfather were working as carpenters. They used to craft tools using wood. My grandfather passed away and my father joined the army and I was still a student. After a while, my father returned but he was injured. He had lost his left leg in the war, and couldn't work anymore. I decided to continue the work of my father and grandfather, and I liked the work more than I liked going to school. I wanted to finish early every day so I can go to work. I did like studying as well but I couldn't focus well.” ...

October 21, 2020

“Because we were poor, I had to work in a restaurant close to our house after school. When my dad left to Damascus to work, he took me with him. I started working in a hotel for three years. I learned a lot from the chefs there even though they never wanted anyone to learn from them, but I used to watch them from the windows and wrote what I noticed.I went to North of Kurdistan due to the war and worked there as a chef. The owner was very satisfied with my work because I knew very well to cook Eastern food, so he took me to Denmark with him for work. I worked there for nine months, then finally decided to go back to Rojava and live with my family. I opened an oriental food restaurant in Hasaka. I love my job and always try to grow more.” ...

October 20, 2020

“My sister and I have been playing football for four years. We used to play on the streets, and one day Captain Rasho who is now my coach came to me and asked me to play in a stadium. I stepped into a new chapter in my life when Captain Rasho decided to include us in his team. At first, I found it very hard because I had never played in a stadium before.Last year, I was playing for Amuda women's team, even though I was a new player the coach called me up because of my height. I became the first player to play in women's Syrian league at the age of fourteen. We won our last game in Damascus, and became the champions.We also became the champions of women's Syrian league for under 18 several days ago. My sister was the captain and she lifted the trophy. I was voted as the best player of the tournament and had scored the most goals.” ...

October 19, 2020

“My two brothers were in a dance group as kids, but they joined YPG when they grew up. I learned dancing from them, and for about three years I was in a children's dance group. Once I grew up, I joined an older dance group and then became the trainer of the group. Despite my young age, I taught dancing to a lot of students.In addition to dancing, I taught myself to play Oboe because not many people are familiar with it here, but it is widely used in Afrin, they consider it as a part of the Kurdish tradition. I was sixteen years old when I bought my first oboe, and little by little I learned how to play. I have only taken two classes, and the rest I learned on my own. Everyone I knew wanted to learn how to play a violin or a guitar, but I preferred playing the oboe. While serving in the army, I was getting some attention because I knew how to play the oboe and dance, and so Farhad Mardi the artist offered me to join their group, and I happily accepted.” ...

October 18, 2020

“I was working in a beauty salon with a very close friend of mine, she was like a sister to me, and we never left each other. Two and a half years ago, they were attacked by a group in their own house. Their father was the target because he was a politician, but since he wasn't there at the time, his daughters became the victims.The very day after, I received news that she was dead, I couldn't believe it. I quickly went to their house to be sure of the news, and I was shocked when I saw a tent and two pictures of her and her sister right in front of their house. I asked to see her before she was buried, and when I saw her she was pale as a bright light. I was heartbroken, I cried a lot, and my life changed forever. I was depressed after what happened, I never got out of my room, stayed in the dark and didn't speak to anyone. I stayed that way for two and a half years until one day I met some new friends; they helped me a lot to overcome the shock and convinced me that I had to keep going in my life." ...

October 16, 2020

“I have been selling Tasbih ever sense I was a child. I used to go to the bazaar and sell cigarettes from street to street and I used to see many children selling Tasbih so I wanted to do the same. I used to listen to what they were saying and started learning how to make Tasbih. At the beginning, I was making them from olive and date seeds and selling them as my crafts, it was only a hobby for me. However, little by little I started experimenting while making them, until I became so familiar with it that I opened my own shop. My hobby turned into a way of making a living and I will leave that legacy to my kids.” ...

October 15, 2020

“I was born in one of the villages near Amuda city called Ali Goran village. The name has come from an incident in the old days. When I was young, one day I was sitting down with my grandfather and a group of elderly of the village when I was thirteen years old. Someone in the group had asked about the name of the village and that's how I knew what the story was.They say that a woman had been in labor and about to give birth to a child, but before the child had been born the mother had died. So they'd buried both of them in one of the cemeteries in the village. That same night the people of the village noticed something coming out of that exact grave. They'd no idea what it had been, a ghost? a human being? They became very scared and had left it like that until the next morning.” “The very next day they had found out that the child was born in the grave, and moved and had come out of the grave. Back then, they didn't have the awareness or knowledge to see whether the child was alive in the mother's womb or not, so they had buried them both together. The child had lived and was named Ali, and Goran comes from the Kurdish word for grave (Gor), I still remember this story word for word, but have no idea whether it's factual or fiction. Nevertheless, this is how it has been told for many years.” ...