Throughout my visit, I had the opportunity to tour museums, visit small villages, sightsee in the large cities of Duhok and Erbil, be captivated by stunning mountain views, be charmed by gorgeous waterfalls and deep canyons, and to immerse myself in all this land has to offer travelers and locals alike. No visit to Kurdistan would be complete without checking out the Dohuk Bazaar, a traditional old market in a maze of alleyways and colorful stalls. Here you can purchase Kurdish clothing, gold jewellery, modern goods and a variety of Kurdish spices and sweets. I encourage you to take the time to indulge in traditional Kurdish cuisine, sample the pomegranate juice and allow your senses to be captivated by the sights and sounds that abound.
In Kurdistan, I experienced the coming together of old and new cultures. Once a land of violent conflicts, Kurdistan is now growing and thriving. Economic growth is evident, construction is abundant, and life is progressing quickly; still, old traditions, past struggles, and historical events are preserved. Kurdistan is rich in culture and economically strong! It is however, the people that make the difference; they are strong, resilient and open. Kurds are proud of their history, happy with their present and excited for their future!
For those of us in the western world, we may wonder whether it is safe to travel to the Middle East. Without question, Kurdistan is safe! Often called the Other Iraq, Kurdistan has its own prime minister, a separate parliament, a brilliant red white and green flag with a blazing yellow sun in the center, a separate language (Kurdish), Kurdistan specific passport stamps, and proud and resilient people.
I encourage you to visit Kurdistan! You will absolutely love your time in this wonderful land and perhaps you too will fulfill your travel dream. There are travel and tourism companies within the country, companies which will serve and cater to your needs when you are on a vacation either far or close to home. Piro Group is one of these well established and reputable businesses. Give them a call or send me an email if you are thinking of a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to visit a safe and growing country.