Kurdish Persecution

The Iranian Kurds I met at the refugee camp near the border with Iraq have been persecuted for years. In fact, some of them have known no other life. I photographed and interviewed members of a large Kurdish family who were all born in refugee camps. When asked the question of what the first thing it is they would want to do when they get out of the camp, they each said go to high school.
It was difficult getting these children to speak from their hearts. I would ask them what they wanted to be when they get older and their father would whisper doctor, and they would answer doctor. Their father had seen so many journalists come and go, and he was frustrated with the lack of results from their reporting. The father was honing his skills of persuasion. For hours he would ask me questions about what I thought I could do for them and what my photographs or words would do to change their situation. What could my photographs do for them? Looking at these twin boys and knowing they were born in a refugee camp and have spent their whole lives in tents in the middle of the desert, what do you feel and are those emotions enough to make you do anything about it?

Posted February 18th, 2006 in Uncategorized.


  1. Khaled:

    This is happening every where in the middle east… it has became trade mark for the region!
    Refugee camps are expanding every where… Plaestinian refugee camps are those places that will change the way you think of the world… but I think the one at the iraqi borders will show you how cheap is life…

  2. garyoke_in_nh:

    What do I feel? I stared at the pictures…Sue’s gone…freed of being seen….I cried. You tell me – what can I do about it?

  3. Annah:

    I recently watched the Lord of War and in the movie Nicolas Cage reminds the audience of the quote, “Evil prevails when good men do nothing.” He said instead, he thinks evil prevails. Period. I guess these comments make me think of that because here I am comfortbaly in my home merely a couple hours’ drive from this camp and I am doing nothing. And I have the time and safe space to observe it. What does that say about me? About any of us? I have so little faith in the systems designed to help these people but yet I won’t take on the responsibility myself. Why? That is what I am trying to answer right now in my life.

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