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.

August 17, 2022

“My name is Amir Hamw, and I’m 11 years old from Qarah Tapa village in Afrin. My family and I left our hometown five years ago because of the constant bombardment by the Turkish state. This is what my family retells me. I don’t remember much about our village except that my friends and I were playing football and suddenly we heard the sound of aircraft bombardment everywhere. My father tells me we will go back one day because it is our land. This is my only dream; to return to my village. Now, I live in Hasaka city, I have new friends here, and we play football daily. Dust arises on the football field from our passionate playing. Sometimes, my friends and I collect money to buy a ball and play with it. I direct the team and wear Cristiano Ronaldo’s jersey, whom I love so much and want to become a professional player like him.” ...

April 6, 2022

“My name is Rumina. I'm 18 years old and I'm from Afrin, Northern Syria. I used to play Buzuq when I was a child, but my father suggested that I learn to play violin. I started studying in an institute and learned playing violin very well. I currently teach 25 students at Kevana Zêrîn Center. The worst moment in my life that I can never forget was when we were playing our instruments in the institute, Turkey started bombing my city Afrin in January 2018. We didn't know what to do. It was such a dark day! When we were displaced from Afrin, I only brought my violin. My dream is to form an orchestra group and play in our village with the presence of all the villagers”. ...

April 17, 2022

“My name is Roody and I'm 31 years old. In 2016, I thought about starting a project in Qamishli under the name of Story of Nation, but the circumstances were not helpful. I have started it now again, and the project involves taking photos of people's faces from all the different groups and backgrounds in Rojava, furthermore improving the coexistence amongst the people. Every night, I make plans for the next day. I schedule a time with the person I want to take pictures of and then start the shooting. Some of the photographs are spontaneous, and others the people asked me to take them.So far I have taken more than 70 photos, and a while back, I opened an exhibition. I sold some of the photographs and donated the money to a cancer treatment hospital. For the photos that were not sold, I gifted them to the individuals, which made them really happy”. ...

May 24, 2022

“I’m Ali Ahmed and I’m 23 years old. I’m from al-Tanouria village in the countryside of Tirbespiye. My family relies mainly on agriculture, so we grow wheat and barley in winter and vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers during summer, after harvesting the grain. Most farmers depend on rain for agriculture, but due to the insufficient amount of rain, which led to the lack of adequate growth of wheat and barley, we decided to irrigate the farm ourselves; despite the high costs, our farm is now in a good condition, and the difference is evident between our farm and the farm adjacent to us whose owner relied only on rain-fed agriculture. Our efforts and struggle have not been in vain, and in a few weeks, we will pluck our fruits and harvest our wheat; so whoever sows will reap in the end”. ...

June 8, 2022

“My name is Firas Alou, and I’m 24 years old. I left my village "Ahras" when ISIS took control of it in 2015. Then, the city of Afrin became my refuge and my new destination for continuing my education. I stayed and became more in love with her than with my hometown. I studied at Afrin University, and my dream was to carry out a photoshoot session for traditional Kurdish dresses at the Prophet Hori Archaeological Castle once I graduate. The ramifications of war did not allow for this, as I was once again forced to flee after Turkey occupied Afrin in 2018. Four years later, I continued my education in the city of Qamishli. I was able to achieve a small part of my dream not in Afrin, though, but rather in Qamishli by conducting a photoshoot in front of the symbol of Prophet Hori Castle in the city”. ...

July 6, 2022

“My name is Qadri Sharbatchi; I was born in Aleppo and am 70 years old. Sixty years ago, when I was ten years old, I used to sell sweets with my grandfather. When he passed away, I kept working in this profession and did not want it to discontinue. Later, I made a small wood wagon and sold sweets in the city bazaar. I love this profession because I grew up doing it, and I also have implored my children never to abandon it. Now that I have gotten older, I cannot make the sweets myself and sell them too, so instead, my children make them, and I sell them in the bazaar. Everyone at the bazaar loves me; they return daily for my sweets, for I keep them immaculate”. ...

August 7, 2022

“I’m 60 years old and live with my sick mother in Ma’shwq village, Tarbesbeh subdistrict. In the village, they call me “The Kurdish Girl” because I always wear traditional Kurdish clothes, and sometimes I sew them myself. In the year 2000, I went to Europe, and I saw how the European care about their history; when I came back in 2005, I decided to collect and preserve antiques. As for now, I purchase old antiques and display them in a shop that has become an exhibition for hundreds of historical pieces, and sometimes I go to the villages and collect new pieces from there. My father is Kurdish, and my mother is Syriac; in this regard, I keep a balance between the Syriac and Kurdish pieces that I collect. I opened this exhibition to prevent the loss of our rich and old history”. ...

March 9, 2022

“I grew up in Qamishli in an artist family who were skilled at musical instruments. When I was a child, my father bought me a small Saz and I learned how to play it from my family. I still have it. Now I can play all the stringed instruments, but Clarinet is my favorite instrument. In the beginning, I was watching music bands on YouTube and there was someone who was playing Clarinet, and that made me buy a Clarinet and learn to play it. I am currently a member of the Butan Group and Wilayat Studio for Art. I have participated in a number of songs and national events such as Newroz. Later I recorded a song and it went viral. Art is food for the soul. It is something that I can’t get away from”. ...

February 20, 2022

“My name is Roshn, I’m 19-years-old and I’m from Qamishli. I work in the field of child training and psychological support in an organization dedicated to the rights of children and women. I was 12-years-old when I first started this job. My mother and I were the founders of the organization. I did a project to support children’s mental health during war. Four autistic children received treatment and their conditions improved through the program I prepared, in addition to several other children who recovered. I currently hold meetings and training courses to raise women’s awareness. And I teach courses at the camp that houses families of Islamic State (ISIS) members where we are working to counter the extremist ideology of the ISIS women through the awareness sessions. I’m proud of myself for having done so much humanitarian work. According to the autonomous administration’s statistics, I’m the youngest volunteer in the humanitarian field at the regional level”. ...

February 6, 2022

“I’m 12-years-old, I grew up in an educated family and I’m still growing up. I love writing and reading. I was very happy when I participated in the annual Harkul Book Fair as the head of the children's book section. Because of my love for reading, my father recently opened a library named after me for children’s books, aiming to revitalize the culture of reading among children. We bring most of the Kurdish books from Duhok and some from Amed in northern Kurdistan. Most of our books are Kurdish so that Kurdish children can get to know their culture. Our project is new and has not been done in this area before, but I am sure we will reach our goal and further develop the library until reading becomes a culture for children”. ...

January 16, 2022

“I am afraid of people.I am afraid of what man hides behind his face mask. My name is Ezzat Habash, and I am 49 years old. I have spent many years abroad, and I have learned and met many women. Fear is always present in my heart before I get to know anyone, because the sincerity of a person is not revealed through kind words, or innocent features. Therefore, we should always be careful during meeting new people." ...

September 21, 2021

“Back in the day, the Syrian regime did not accept Kurdish education. Anyone who would study Kurdish would get seized or abducted. This is what my father used to inform me of when I was a child. But with the beginning of the revolution in Rojava, the foundation of establishments and agencies, and evicting the Syrian regime in 2012, the procedures for teaching the Kurdish curriculum were initiated, and I started learning in Kurdish. I did my utmost to succeed with the support of my family because my parents were teachers. I was successful in my Baccalaureate assessments and received first place in the city of Qamishli. At the present moment, I am studying medicine at Rojava University in Qamishli, with the intent to help the people of my city”. ...