Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Glimpses of Iraqi Kurdistan in summer 2015




I have now been back in North America since 6 August. I have moved through the re-entry staying in my house time, and began to move out more. Part of the way that I work through the sadness and mourning the loss of being in Iraqi Kurdistan is to look at my photos. I can remember the people I have sat with and laughed with and  spoken with for brief and longer times. This will be a selection of photos so you can meet some the people that I met and see some of things I saw on this stint- 19 May to 6 August, 2015. (Click on the first photo to see them in a larger format.)

The sun shone the whole time I was in Iraqi Kurdistan. Some people cover their vehicles to prevent sun damage and to try to keep them a little cooler. This cover reminded me of a 60's Volkswagen van. But when I got closer I saw....

 .......where the fabric came from. They must have bought the Ikea store out of the pattern!

 Our team visited the lovely village of Gulan, These little people peered out at me from behind their house gate. It is a good way to keep them out the rocky trail that can have cows and geese and goats travelling them an various times during the day.
There are wonderful fruit trees in Gulan. Here we were picking a small sour fruit that was a cross between a plum and a cherry.


People in the bazaar


Ice is very important to keep the  drinking water cold, cold  in the hot, hot summer heat. It is  bought in huge chunks and then broken into smaller pieces that fit into old freezers or small containers  that hold the 250 ml bottles of water.

 There are a few small shops that sell rugs and carpets made in Iraqi Kurdistan. Many of them were created at least a decade before but they are still so beautiful and colourful.
 Most people who shine shoes to make a living are men but this young girl had set up her stand on the side of a laneway. She granted me a photo. The rubber sandals are ready to cover the feet of someone who might give her their shoes to shine.


 "Please take my photo", this young boy asked me. He sells larger plastic bags for 250 Iraqi dinars (20 cents) to try to make a living for him and his family.
 The people who live in nearby villages bring seasonal  produce, either picked in the wild or grown in their gardens, to the bazaar. They sit on the sidewalk with small scales and sell it to the city folk.

Around the main square are many booksellers. This man was utilizing some spare time
to peruse his merchandise.

Iftar (breaking the fast) on one evening during Ramadan

 The men take off their shoes before entering the mosque.
 I think they must be very secure  in where they place their footwear, in order to
quickly find them.

 Vendors selling their food and tea on the street
 Musicians gatherered around the instrument seller's blanket

 This girl was selling candy floss for a sugar boost.
I marvel at the security of a cloth placed over merchandise and how things do not get  stolen.

Cooling down in 45-50 C summer weather


The team went for a wonderful picnic by this river. This Kurdish couple seemed to enjoy
 fishing together in the cool water.

 Mohamed and Rezyar showed us how to wash the floors in the Kurdish way. First, you bring in the hose and flood the floor with water (or you could use a bucket of water).
Second, you use a large squeegee to push the water (and the dirt) out the door.


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