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The Kurdish Bride (Editing)
(Edit)
By Mike
08 Feb 2017

Texts and photographs by Michele Cirillo and Emanuela Laurenti.

 

Premise

Only scratched the surface by the passing of time, by the Islamic conquest and other foreign dominations, the Kurdish culture is now in danger of being forgotten, or worse, losing its true identity, confused in recent years with the Muslim or Turkish tradition. Put through to the Ottoman Empire and then divided by the Western powers in the four states of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, in the last ninety years, the Kurds have been victims of persecutions and slaughters that occurred with greater ferocity in Turkey, where a regime of forced repression resented every expression of their cultural identity. “Mountain Turks”. As Turks called Kurdish people. But in those mountains, dominated by the great Ararat, unquestionably still persist the flavors of ancient and specific traditions, traces of a thousand-years old past, vestiges of a precise and recognizable identity. Among those mountains, the first days of the wedding of Sükran and Samet took place, a symbolic union, especially because of their origins and historical events: Sükran is Kurdish, Samet is Turkish. Our journey starts here. In August 2014, at Xarik place as first, in Eastern Anatolia, and at Yozgat then, in Central Anatolia.

The Wedding

In the social structure Kurdish family is considered an inseparable unit: it is the core on which dipend the whole society and its importance is manifested on the occasion of a marriage. Specifically, the Sükran and Samet wedding party lasted five days: the first part of the celebrations was held in the bride family home, in the altitudes of Xarik, with sober characters although colored. The remaining four days of celebrations, took place, with the most sumptuous atmospheres, in the groom's family house. In Yozgat, a Turkish small town. The criteria that direct the marriage of two young people often depend on the relationship between their families. Even if there is not anymore the custom to give in marriage young girls, young men have some freedom of choice, young women even less, waiting for a sincere marriage proposal. The history of Sükran and Samet, fortunately, is a different story.

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Atheel al-Nujaifi 01
Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan
By Jawdat Ahmed
18 Apr 2016

Atheel al-Nujaifi is an Iraqi politician. He was the Governor of Nineveh Province from April 2009 until May 2015. Nujaifi was born into a Moslawi family in 1958.

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Atheel al-Nujaifi 02
Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan
By Jawdat Ahmed
18 Apr 2016

Atheel al-Nujaifi is an Iraqi politician. He was the Governor of Nineveh Province from April 2009 until May 2015. Nujaifi was born into a Moslawi family in 1958.

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Atheel al-Nujaifi 05
Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan
By Jawdat Ahmed
18 Apr 2016

Atheel al-Nujaifi is an Iraqi politician. He was the Governor of Nineveh Province from April 2009 until May 2015. Nujaifi was born into a Moslawi family in 1958.

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Atheel al-Nujaifi 04
Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan
By Jawdat Ahmed
18 Apr 2016

Atheel al-Nujaifi is an Iraqi politician. He was the Governor of Nineveh Province from April 2009 until May 2015. Nujaifi was born into a Moslawi family in 1958.

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Atheel al-Nujaifi 03
Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan
By Jawdat Ahmed
18 Apr 2016

Atheel al-Nujaifi is an Iraqi politician. He was the Governor of Nineveh Province from April 2009 until May 2015. Nujaifi was born into a Moslawi family in 1958.

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Atheel al-Nujaifi 06
Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan
By Jawdat Ahmed
18 Apr 2016

Atheel al-Nujaifi is an Iraqi politician. He was the Governor of Nineveh Province from April 2009 until May 2015. Nujaifi was born into a Moslawi family in 1958.

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A Refugee Camp in Iraq 4
Darashakran Camp, Iraqi Kurdistan
By Noe Falk Nielsen
24 Jun 2015

Living spaces for recently arrived refugees from Kobane in the Darashakran refugee Camp on 24 June 2015

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A Refugee Camp in Iraq 6
Darashakran Camp, Iraqi Kurdistan
By Noe Falk Nielsen
24 Jun 2015

Children playing in front of one of the more permanent settlements in the Darashakran refugee camp on 24 June 2015

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A Refugee Camp in Iraq 7
Darashakran Camp, Iraqi Kurdistan
By Noe Falk Nielsen
24 Jun 2015

Boy staring at the distribution taking place in the Darashakran refugee camp on 24 June 2015

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A Refugee Camp in Iraq 8
Darashakran Camp, Iraqi Kurdistan
By Noe Falk Nielsen
24 Jun 2015

Two boys dragging a small cart with goods for a woman from the distribution area to her home in Darashakran refugee camp on 24 June 2015

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A Refugee Camp in Iraq 9
Darashakran Camp, Iraqi Kurdistan
By Noe Falk Nielsen
24 Jun 2015

An old woman carries a box from the distribution area to her home through the heat along an empty street in Darashakran refugee Camp on 24 June 2015.

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A Refugee Camp in Iraq 2
Darashakran Camp, Iraqi Kurdistan
By Noe Falk Nielsen
24 Jun 2015

A woman waiting to receive items at distribution area in Darashakran refugee camp in the Kurdish Region of Iraq on 24 June 2015

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A Refugee Camp in Iraq 3
Darashakran Camp, Iraqi Kurdistan
By Noe Falk Nielsen
23 Jun 2015

Two girls with a younger brother among the tents of Basirma refugee Camp in the Kurdish Region of Iraq on 23 June 2015.

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A Refugee Camp in Iraq 5
Darashakran Camp, Iraqi Kurdistan
By Noe Falk Nielsen
23 Jun 2015

Children playing among the tents in Basirma refugee camp on 23 June 2015.

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Swedish Schoolteacher Joins Fight aga...
Al-Hassakah
By Bedir
28 May 2015

Jasper, a 24 year-old schoolteacher from Sweden describes his reasons for leaving his home and joining the fight against ISIS alongside the YPG in Syrian Kurdistan.

Going by his adoptive Kurdish name Agit, the young man has joined a battalion the YPG with two American fighters and one English fighter, all experienced military men, who give him special training to go head to head with ISIS in combat.

"I'm not afraid of them," he says. "They will pay for their crimes. I will fight to the last drop."

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Displaced Yezidi Still Stuck on Mt Si...
Sinjar, Iraq
By Balint Szlanko
26 May 2015

Nearly a year after they were forced to flee to Mount Sinjar following an attack by Islamic State militants on their villages, thousands of Yezidi refugees still remain on the mountain, despite a lack of water, food, and housing.

Almost all food and water has to be hauled up from the plains and the displaced are reduced to eating bred and some vegetables, though some families managed to rescue and bring their animals with them, providing them with milk and occasionally meat.

Some say they are unwilling to go to the official IDP camps in the north as they have relatives fighting with Kurdish forces against IS and don't want to abandon them. Others say they simply don't want to live in the camps and prefer it on the mountain, close to their ancestral land, despite the difficulties they face here.

Many still have relatives missing, too, as IS took thousands of women and children as hostage, many of whom are understood to be kept in sexual slavery.

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Peshmerga Forces Battle ISIS in Sinjar
Sinjar, Iraq
By Balint Szlanko
25 May 2015

Kurdish peshmerga forces have been battling Islamic State militants outside the city of Sinjar since January.

The peshmerga are holding the heights to the north of the city, while IS controls the city itself. There is no sign of any civilians left in the city.

The warfare is largely static: both sides are stuck in their positions, sniping at each other, while IS occasionally tries to storm some of the Kurdish frontal positions, or lob mortars across their lines into the rear.

Low on heavy weapons themselves, the peshmerga typically call in coalition airstrikes when they spot IS forces moving around. On 25 and 26 May, when this report was filmed, the Kurds called in nearly a dozen airstrikes.

According to a report posted on the website of US Central Command said that on 26 May “near Sinjar, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying two ISIL buildings and two ISIL heavy machine guns.”

The city of Sinjar is important because sits on a road between Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria, the two biggest cities controlled by IS. The militants use the road to move personnel and equipment between the two major theatres of war.

The 12th peshmerga brigade, which has been on the lines since the beginning of May, lost 13 killed and nearly a hundred wounded in their first three weeks of deployment.

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Facing ISIS: Training to Liberate Mosul
Mosul
By Gavin John
10 May 2015

Following the fall of Mosul, Iraq to ISIL, several thousand residences fled to nearby Kurdistan. A year later, they have rallied together and have formed a militia with the intention of retaking their city.

From a training camp just outside of the ISIS held city, we speak to the general in charge as well as the troops on why they are there and how they view the upcoming Siege of Mosul.

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE IN COLLECTION

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Facing ISIS: Training to Liberate Mosul
Mosul, Iraq
By Gavin John
10 May 2015

Following the fall of Mosul, Iraq to ISIL, several thousand residences fled to nearby Kurdistan. A year later, they have rallied together and have formed a militia with the intention of retaking their city.

From a training camp just outside of the ISIS held city, we speak to the general in charge as well as the troops on why they are there and how they view the upcoming Siege of Mosul

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The Mosul Militia 01
Mosul, Iraq
By Gavin John
10 May 2015

A traffic sign lies on the ground on the road to the ISIS occupied city of Mosul on May 11, 2015. (Gavin John)

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The Mosul Militia 05
Mosul, Iraq
By Gavin John
10 May 2015

An Iraqi militia trains at a secret camp outside of the ISIS held city of Mosul on May 11, 2015. The soldiers are all former residences that fled their home and are now preparing to retake their city. (Gavin John)

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The Mosul Militia 03
Mosul, Iraq
By Gavin John
10 May 2015

An Iraqi militia stands at attention at a secret camp outside of the ISIS held city of Mosul on May 11, 2015. The soldiers are all former residences that fled their home and are now preparing to retake their city. (Gavin John)

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The Mosul Militia 06
Mosul, Iraq
By Gavin John
10 May 2015

An Iraqi militia trains at a secret camp outside of the ISIS held city of Mosul on May 11, 2015. The soldiers are all former residences that fled their home and are now preparing to retake their city. (Gavin John)

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The Mosul Militia 07
Mosul, Iraq
By Gavin John
10 May 2015

An Iraqi militia trains at a secret camp outside of the ISIS held city of Mosul on May 11, 2015. The soldiers are all former residences that fled their home and are now preparing to retake their city. (Gavin John)

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The Mosul Militia 08
Mosul, Iraq
By Gavin John
10 May 2015

An Iraqi militia trains at a secret camp outside of the ISIS held city of Mosul on May 11, 2015. The soldiers are all former residences that fled their home and are now preparing to retake their city. (Gavin John)

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The Mosul Militia 10
Mosul, Iraq
By Gavin John
10 May 2015

An Iraqi militia flashes the "victory" sign at a secret camp outside of the ISIS held city of Mosul on May 11, 2015. The soldiers are all former residences that fled their home and are now preparing to retake their city. (Gavin John)

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The Mosul Militia 09
Mosul, Iraq
By Gavin John
10 May 2015

An Iraqi militia flashes the "victory" sign at a secret camp outside of the ISIS held city of Mosul on May 11, 2015. The soldiers are all former residences that fled their home and are now preparing to retake their city. Many of the soldiers have said they are ready to take the fight to ISIS and are prepared to die for their city. (Gavin John)

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Facing ISIS: Training to Liberate Mosul
Mosul, Iraq
By Gavin John
10 May 2015

Following the fall of Mosul to ISIS militants in June 2014, many residence fled to nearby Kurdistan where they are now forming a militia with the intention to retake their city.

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The Mosul Militia 02
Mosul, Iraq
By Gavin John
09 May 2015

An Iraqi militia man holds up a Kurdish patch at a secret camp outside of the ISIS held city of Mosul, Iraq on May 11, 2015. The soldiers are all former residences that fled their home and are now preparing to retake their city. (Gavin John)

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The Mosul Militia 04
Mosul, Iraq
By Gavin John
09 May 2015

An Iraqi militia poses for a photo at a secret camp outside of the ISIS held city of Mosul on May 11, 2015. The soldiers are all former residences that fled their home and are now preparing to retake their city. Many of the soldiers did not want their faces shown as they still have families trapped in Mosul. (Gavin John)

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The Mosul Militia 12
Mosul, Iraq
By Gavin John
09 May 2015

General Mohammed Tariq poses for a photo at a secret camp outside of the ISIS held city of Mosul, Iraq on May 11, 2015. The soldiers are all former residences that fled their home and are now preparing to retake their city. (Crystal Schick)

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The Mosul Militia 11
Mosul, Iraq
By Gavin John
09 May 2015

General Mohammed Tariq poses under an Iraqi flag at a secret camp outside of the ISIS held city of Mosul, Iraq on May 11, 2015. The soldiers are all former residences that fled their home and are now preparing to retake their city. (Crystal Schick)

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The Mosul Militia 13
Mosul, Iraq
By Gavin John
09 May 2015

General Mohammed Tariq poses under an Iraqi flag at a secret camp outside of the ISIS held city of Mosul, Iraq on May 11, 2015. The soldiers are all former residences that fled their home and are now preparing to retake their city. (Crystal Schick)

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The Mosul Militia 14
Mosul, Iraq
By Gavin John
09 May 2015

A masked militiaman poses under an Iraqi flag at a secret camp outside of the ISIS held city of Mosul, Iraq on May 11, 2015. The soldiers are all former residences that fled their home and are now preparing to retake their city. (Crystal Schick)

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The Mosul Militia 15
Mosul, Iraq
By Gavin John
09 May 2015

A masked militiaman poses under an Iraqi flag at a secret camp outside of the ISIS held city of Mosul, Iraq on May 11, 2015. The soldiers are all former residences that fled their home and are now preparing to retake their city. (Crystal Schick)

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Yezidis Demand Return of Loved Ones H...
Dohuk
By rsoufi
15 Apr 2015

Kurdish Yezidi refugees in the Sharya camp near Dohuk in Iraqi Kurdistan took part in protest against the continued detention of their community members by ISIS. The protest was part of a campaign launched by the Yezidi Lalesh Cultural Center and other organizations. These protests coincided with the Yezidi New Year, also known as "Holy Wednesday", which is celebrated on the first Wednesday of April. Thousands of colored balloons carrying written heart-felt messages were released during the sit-in. The refugees wrote “My wish is to celebrate the holiday with my mother,” and “Our holiday is your return” among other slogans.

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Freed Yezidis Describe Their Detentio...
Kirkuk
By Adam Adam
08 Apr 2015

Kirkuk, Iraq
April 08 2015

More than 216 Yezidi Kurds held by ISIS were released on Wednesday, April 8 in the area of Nahrawan, some 25 km to the south of Kirkuk. Freed detainees were transported by the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. Video includes interviewees with released hostages who describe the situation during their captivity.

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Life in the Largest Syrian Refugee Ca...
Erbil
By Younes Mohammad
30 Mar 2015

March 30, 2015

Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan



Syrian refugees fled their country and arrived in Iraqi Kurdistan looking for assistance and a safe place to settle after the heavy clashes between the YPG and Al-Nusra front that took place in Rojava. The Kawrgosk refugee camp is currently the largest in Iraq but many of the refugees prefer to live on the outskirts of the city of Erbil. Iraq has recorded a total of 19, 844 Syrian refugees in the camps and aid is distributed to them by the UN, NGOs, and local and national bodies.