I visited three of Slemani's parks. The closest to the city centre is the small one next to Suleymaniyeh University, almost opposite the huge Palace Hotel. This one was busy in the morning with tea drinkers, and had an "avenue of heads", stone busts of some important local historical figures. The second one I found was east of the bazaar, small but...more
In the middle of the bazaar district is Slemani's great mosque. Not really an architectural wonder, or even very old, this is nevertheless a sort of hub, especially on Fridays. I'm sure it is possible to go inside if you visit after prayers have finished...we didn't, however we did go inside the brand new Chinese shopping mall opposite, offering...more
The "highlight" of any trip to Slemani ought to be this museum, housed in one of Saddam's old torture facilities known as Amna Suraka (Red Security). Since the Peshmerga (the Kurdish army) liberated the prison in the 1990s, not much has changed...the buildings are empty shells with bullet holes everywhere. A soldier gives you a quick body search,...more
Take any street off Mawlawi or Kawa streets and you'll end up in the bazaar. It is huge, and getting lost is part of the fun. The most interesting section is probably the maze of covered alleyways between the two main roads. Again, like those in Dohuk and Erbil, the bazaar is built on a bit of a slope, so don't be afraid to go up or down any stairs...more
Through a tiny unmarked door and a narrow corridor, you reach Slemani's finest attraction, the Sha'ab Chaixana, perhaps the best teahouse in all of Iraqi Kurdistan. A good teahouse has tea, obviously, and a few seats, a water pipe or two, maybe an indoor section in case the weather turns...but the Sha'ab teahouse goes that little bit further. Books...more
Did not try but if you are so bored in Sulu, it can be delightful to attend one movie session here !
Getting to Erbil, you have two options...the quick, dull and risky route...or the slow, mountainous and safe route. 1 - the quick, dull and risky route. If you're in a hurry, don't like twisty mountain roads, or have a morbid fascination for visiting more dangerous parts of Iraq, this is the choice for you. Take any shared taxi heading to Erbil...more
No doubt you'll want to visit Halabja while you're here, and it's an easy day trip, assuming you leave early enough. Take a taxi to Karaj Halabcha a few kilometres from the bazaar, where you'll find buses heading to Halabja. There are two Halabjas, one where the attacks happened, and a new one built some distance away, so you'll need to ask for...more
Cultural Do’s and Don’ts Do:(U) Do be prepared for people to smoke in different venues.(U) Do expect that in many Kurdish households seating is arranged on the floor.(U) Do give women the opportunity to avoid physical contact with men. Handshakes between the sexes may be allowed; a two-handed handshake is especially welcoming.(U) Do be respectful...more
(Kurdish national anthem)HEY ENEMY !Hey enemy, the Kurdish nation is alive with its languageCan not be defeated by the weapons of any timeLet no one say Kurds are deadKurds are livingKurds are living, their flag will never fallWe, the youth are the red colour of the revolutionWatch our blood that we shed on this wayLet no one say Kurds are...more
English KurdishHello Mrhaba -roj bashGoodbye bakhatrita Thank you Supas You’re welcome Sar ChavaHow are you? Choni?Are you well? Bashi I’m fine, thank you Bashim Supas What’s your name? Navi ta chiya My name is John Navi min John What would you like to drink? chi vakhi?Tea (without sugar) chai shakir?PleaseWhere is the bazaar? Kani Bazaar?Where is...more
There are money exchange businesses in the cities but the best rates are often found in bazaars. Look out for men sitting on the kerb with large bundles of cash. Make sure you agree on a good rate before handing your money over.