March is here!!
In Kurdistan it is the one month of the year that you would like to be in. The color of nature, the mountains, the picnics, the numerous celebrations and how can I forget NEWROZ (the biggest celebration on the Kurdish calendar).
For any guests coming into Kurdistan, and Erbil in particular during this season I thought I would dedicate this blog especially for you.
Dear tourist: There is something great about Erbil that once you have visited, you would want to come back a second and a third time as well—the citadel. The citadel, no matter what major road you are coming out from, will always be seen. It is a great cultural experience, but touring the inside you will be amazed by the architecture, the people, the different sites and indeed you will discover a treasured history of the Kurdish nation.
Above: I sit and observe the vast changes happening infront of my eyes in Erbil. In a year time I will sit in the same place, and I am sure the picture will look very different. The development is too fast to observe.
Four years later, every time I visit the citadel I feel like a tourist (discovering her own nationality and culture). Before going up the stairs into the citadel, there are a group of small shops that have been there for many years- selling Kurdish folklore—the Kurdish Klash (shoes) is one thing that you must purchase before leaving the citadel.
The original Klash is handmade and it takes more than 3 people to complete one pair for approximately seven days.
Above: These Klash come from Hawraman, Mama, in his shop shapes the Klash before he puts them on display for sale. He began making klash in Hawraman with his father when he was a child, and so many years later, he continues the tradition.
Above: Learning to tell the difference between the 'original' and 'fake' Klash. Mama tells me that they took the Klash to China in order to try and duplicated, but they failed. No one knew the secret to the perfect Klash. "It is explicit to the Kurds!"
The Klash on display for sale!
A friend discovers the beauties of a shop inside the actual Citadel.