Friday Mornings in Kurdistan!

It’s Friday morning,

Winter is coming to an end and spring is knocking at our doors.

Do you know what this means? You only had to look at my WhatsApp last night.

Family A – Five kids, parents and their uncle’s family are off to a piece of land they own just outside of Hawler. Their mother last night was making a huge manjal of dolma. Oh, that mouthwatering Hawlerii Dolma around a huge family gathering (of course, you need to be seated on the floor in the middle of nature-nowhere-to enjoy it).

Dolma! Photo Credit: The amazing Ahmad Mufti

Family B – My friend was cleaning the house yesterday, since their house is the grandfather’s house it means everyone (the six kids who are all married with their own kids) will come and gather there for lunch. Yes, I do feel sorry for my friend who has to clean the day before they come, while they are there and after they leave. Wow. Imagine cleaning after a good 16 kids have invaded your house for lunch. But she enjoys it and is looking forward to it all.

Family C- A family of three, making Bryani as a I write this to go and enjoy it outdoors. Where? They don’t know. they will just drive till they find a good are of green grass. There they will make tea on the bbq, sit on the floor, talk, enjoy their biryani then drive back home.

If we rewind a few years back, life was different here. Everyone went out, everyone enjoyed their time and the streets of Erbil were all empty on Friday afternoons as everyone made their way to the mountains. Now, times are tough. People are not receiving salaries. Families have their sons and father martyred. The people, in general, are not content. But still, the true Kurdish spirit is there. It is within us. Because when the Nergis is blooming in our mountains, and the spring sun arrives we take our tea, our pot of dolma and family becomes number one priority.

Photo: Rebaz Zedbagi

May Kurdistan be always safe and happy,

lots of love from

My Nest in Kurdistan

This post was written last Friday, but scheduled for today because I didn’t have time to add the pictures.  Sorry! 🙂 

3 thoughts on “Friday Mornings in Kurdistan!

Add yours

  1. i’m so glad i found your blog!
    I’m going to visit my in laws in Kurdistan for the first time in april! Being a Norwegian without much knowledge about the kurdish lifestyle- i’ve worried alot! Then i found your blog and you present kurdistan and kurds in such a beautiful way! Now i actually looking forward going!
    Our son is also going (obviously) is there anything i should bring (diapers, babyfood, etc) which we might not find in duhok?
    Your charity work is so inspirering! May God bless your good heart! We’re going to stay outside Duhok- do you know about any charitywork there? Any way I might help out?

    Oh! and one last thing! what shoud i bring for my sister in laws? they asked for a vaccum cleaner ! (apparently they can’t find a good one over there!) Haha I don’t even know how to bring a vaacum cleaner! What else can i give them, something that actually fits in my luggage! 😀

    sorry for the overload of questions! 😀


    1. Hi Christine,
      First of all welcome to Kurdistan!!!
      No need for diapers, milk or anything else we have it all here. Even though I am in Erbil, but these things also exist in Duhok. Duhok, is more cultural and sometimes you feel there are more cultural restrictions, but it is a beautiful city. I am not sure how your in laws are like but good quality makeup, moisturizers is always good 🙂 you can find almost everything here. You can get them a vacuum cleaner here in gerbil from Family Mall and take it 😀 so it doesn’t come all the way from Sweden, if they have asked for that maybe they want house hold appliances more?
      Dont pressure yourself with too much gifts, because if you bring to one person you have to bring to all the families, so either restrict to the very close ones or just… no gifts?! 😉
      Depends what type of charity work you want to do, let me know I can link you up with organizations I know n Duhok.
      What type of Baby food does your son have? There is a lot here, but the exact type might not exist.

      ready to answer all your questions – always!
      lots of love


  2. thanks for the quick reply!
    We’re flying in through Erbil- so i’m hoping to take a look around before driving to the next city!
    Haha I’ve come to know about the “giftculture”, My husband is bringing gifts for everyone. Like he’s even buying gifts for his fathers friends, which is kind of cute 🙂 my husband has also warn me that i must be prepared for a lots of hugs and kisses! Kurds dont just shake hands he says 😉 The cultural restrictions won’t be a problem I think- I’ll try to blend in as good as i can 🙂

    Any dos and donts?
    Like cultural gestures i might not know about- (a friend of mine told me sitting with legs crossed with the feet facing someone isn’t a good thing) 🙂

    My son is going to be 8 1/2 months when we go- so I guess any baby food will do 😉 I just hope we’ll survive the warm weather !

    I would love to help out in some way- if not in person, maybe with some financial support. we’re staying outside duhok, in zakho. 🙂


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