A shop turned into a museum in Sulaymaniyah
Turning photo collection into a habit, Recep Mela Refiq has collected 5,000 photos in 10 years and converted his shop into a museum.
Eliawa District (Kani Süleyskan), one of the oldest settlements of Sulaymaniyah, is known for its cultural richness.
It attracts attention with its artisan shops and colors. Recep Mela Refiq (66) has turned his interest in collecting photographs of individuals who have gained an important place in Kurdish history into a cultural work.
Turning photo collection into a habit, Recep Mela Refiq has collected 5,000 photos in 10 years and converted his shop into a museum. Every day, dozens of people visit the museum, where are exhibited photographs of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, Şêx Mehmude Berzenci, Qazi Mihemed and Mustafa Barzani, as well as many artists, writers and fghters who have played an important role in the Kurdish freedom struggle.
‘My goal is to protect the past of our nation’
Recep Mela Refiq said that he traveled around the four parts of Kurdistan and collected photographs of prominent Kurdish personalities and items specific to Kurdish culture. “My only aim is to protect our nation's past and serve my people. Many people work for money. But what I have collected is the property of all the Kurdish people. I start the day with the songs of Hesen Zirek. I stay in the shop for a few hours with the help of my children.”
The museum has many visitors
Eqder Omer, who visited the museum, tood Roj News that coming here is more important than playing dominoes in the tea house and smoking. “When I come to the museum, I feel young. If I could, I'd convert a mansion into a museum. Because history is here.”