Some 9,500 Iranian Kurd refugees and asylum seekers are registered with UNHCR in Iraq. Most left their home country during the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980′s and have been living since in various settlements or in urban settings throughout Iraq. I recently visited Kawa settlement, in Erbil’s surrounding, in northern Iraq. These are some of the pictures I took then.
Thirty-eight years old Nam gets ready to clean her home in Kawa settlement while Ajin, her thirteen-year-old son, is playing video games. Kawa, which is located in the surburbs of Erbil in northern Iraq, is hosting some 1350 Iranian Kurd refugees who fled their home country in the 1980's during the Iraq-Iran war. Nam says that she hardly remembers her home country as she was only 7 when she arrived in Iraq. UNHCR provides care and maintenance of all basic services in Kawa settlement through its local partner and has also been constructing the primary school, health center, sewage system etc. The refugee agency has also been conducting protection activities such as raising awareness on refugee rights and duties, or supporting vulnerable women. UNHCR/ H. Caux / July 20, 2011
A young Iranian-Kurd refugee gets amused by her reflection in the mirror at her home in Kawa settlement. UNHCR/ H. Caux / July 20, 2011