“Living in Kurdistan is difficult; one job is not enough. I have to work several jobs to live”. Dashti is an electrical mechanic working at the University of Dohuk. When he finishes in the evening, he takes up his second profession as an interior designer, and sometimes he takes on driving gigs for the Czech NGO “People in need”. He is part of a big family and has a little daughter.
“Iraq is vulnerable, there is no functioning government and constant demonstrations, and the situation is not improving. Sure, Kurdistan is better than Iraq proper. But the economy is so bad after all those wars. There are little opportunities. I am afraid for my daughter; I am afraid for the future of my family. I am trying to be patient for one more year until my wife will bear a son. If the situation is not better then, we will try to leave Kurdistan. But I don’t know where to.”
Like most in Iraq, Dashti’s family has gone from one hardship to another through more than 40 years. His uncle fought against ISIS, and his parents had to hide from Saddam Hussein’s anti-Kurdish campaigns in the mountains. Here he can be seen standing in Saddam’s former mountain residence. It was bombed out by the Americans and looted by angry Kurds in 1991.