First in a series from Kurdistan Rain clouds s…

Dublin Core


First in a series from Kurdistan Rain clouds s…


Neil Shea







POINT (5058446.71653484, 4240478.3613054)

Text Item Type Metadata


First in a series from Kurdistan Rain clouds slide toward the city of Slemani, soaking old shepherds in the hills, rinsing dust from BMWs on the clotted streets, smudging makeup on the faces of the pretty girls. The girls seek shelter in a cafe named for a famous poet, but it's hard to run in heels that high, in jeans that tight. They stumble indoors holding rhinestoned purses overhead, and soon they're lighting candles on a tiered cake, singing Happy Birthday in Kurdish. Last month, fighters from ISIS, called Daesh in Iraq, were hanging bodies above roads in a town two hours away. But the girls don't believe terror will reach them here, in "the Paris of Kurdistan," for a hundred miles south the frontline is held by their fathers and brothers, uncles and cousins. One such man, a university student, hobbled over to talk. Around the time Daesh was stringing up the dead he was shot through the leg during an assault against them. While the girls sing and clap, he swipes through war stories on an iPad. Here are photos of the enemy, killed in battle, stripped in disgrace. Swipe. These are ruined Kurdish homes, blasted in Daesh night attacks. Swipe. This is a portrait he's made, in pencil, of a legendary Kurdish commander, shot in the head. Swipe. The young man says he'll return to fighting when the spring term ends. Daesh is still near, he says, and I must have my revenge. From the girls comes loud laughter. He looks over, blinks twice. Catches himself looking. Turns away. Even in Paris tradition is strong. One shouldn't gaze too long, shouldn't risk offending all those cousins and brothers. The veteran sits up straighter. Grins, reaches for tea. Says his wound hardly hurts him at all. #onassignment for @natgeo

#kurdistan #natgeo #kurds #slemani #sulaymaniyah #iraq #instakurd #everydayiraq #peshmerga #daesh #resist #isis #nationalgeographic #instagramjournalism @petergwin @kengeiger •• see the series: #kurds2015




Neil Shea, “First in a series from Kurdistan Rain clouds s…,” The InstaEssay Archive, accessed July 18, 2018,