By Solin Hacador:
I have been to too many museums all around the world in my life but, as a Kurd, I have never had an opportunity to visit any Kurdish museum, till a few days ago. It was a great honour for me to visit the Qachakh Culture Museum, based in the city of Duhok (Southern Kurdistan).
After long travels from Europe to Kurdistan, I found myself in a Kurdish treasure. I was thrilled and became emotional and could not stop my tears. The museum took me to my ancestors’ history of: Art, politics, poets, scholars, designs, arms, jewelry, fashion, textile, money and so on.
Dictator Saddam Hussein always prohibited the growth of Kurdish culture in Southern Kurdistan. It is true to state that our existence was under attack (and is still under attack in other parts of Kurdistan), from two directions. On the one side, the enemies of our existence, who advocated the denial of Kurdish existence; on the other hand, the enemies of process, the monopoly powers and bureaucracy.
Yes, it is genuinely true that we Kurdish people were not given an opportunity by our occupiers to set up our museums. However, this changed after the formation of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in 1991. There are also other Kurdish museums based in other Southern Kurdish cities.
The Qachakh Culture Museum was set up in the city of Duhok, Southern Kurdistan, on 8th March 2009 by the peshmerga, poet and head of the Kurdish Democratic Party’s Academy, Qadir Qachakh. Mr. Qachakh has done a unique, masterpiece work by setting up this very special museum. He stated to collect special pieces for his museum from 1995 and it’s ongoing. This nonprofit museum was set up with Mr. Qachakh’s own finances and so he renovated his own house into the museum, which he himself designed with his best knowledge.
Mr. Qachakh, through his museum, conveys a message of Kurdish existence and the richness of Kurdish culture to the world. We, the Kurdish nation, should be proud of this very special and unique Kurdish person for saving our nation’s culture and providing the world with this very special museum.
One other thing about Mr. Qachakh came to my attention: I had always thought that no public-hearted person was born after our immortal leader, Mustapha Barzani. However, since meeting Mr. Qachakh, I know I was wrong. I can now with such great pride state that Mr. Qachakh is the strongest Kurdish public-spirited person I have ever met. His poetic and intellectual conversations are prosperous. His heart is like a ‘Deep Ocean’, rich and full of humanity. He shows a great respect for peace, democracy, equality and for the religions and cultures of the world. May God bless him and provide our nation with more like him.
Museums are both cultural and art institutions. Culture can mean the body of concepts shared in a society (the sociological view), or it can mean the achievements of the society. We all know that the museum is an institution that collects and preserves artifacts and cultural relics and other important technical works and makes them available to the public through exhibitions, whether permanent or temporary. This helps us to identify with the culture of our country and to understand our ancestors and anything done by them in history. Museums can be considered as cultural and educational resources. Moreover, they are a valuable source of creativity, particularly the likes of art galleries and exhibitions of imagery.
Museums are also an important factor in attracting tourists to the region or country, and they can be useful in helping the local or national economy in terms of trade, as well as providing employment opportunities for the population. For example, Andalucía received 7.9 million international tourists last year. 60.6 million international tourists visited Spain in 2013. More than one million tourists visit Catalonia on a monthly basis. UK, French and Nordic visitors are chiefly responsible for the increase in tourist spending, with Catalonia and the Canary Islands benefitting the most. Spain mainly sustains its economy through tourism. The reason that I have given the example of Spanish tourism is because Kurdistan, with its unique Qachakh Museum, landscape, rich culture, food and hospitable people, can receive international tourists too.
Finally, I would like to thank Mr. Qachackh for providing our nation with such a special and unique museum. This permanent treasure is an important installation for the community, which helps us to identify with the culture of our country and to know our history. It also plays a unique role in preserving our cultural wealth for all generations.
An Australian/Kurdish joint venture since 2009, Kurdistan Adventures combines local knowledge with Western tour operating management. We pride ourselves on immersing our small groups of travelers in Iraqi Kurdistan culture with safety, security and professionalism. Our 8 day escorted tour includes the 3 major cities of Dohuk, Erbil and Sulymaniyah. A dedicated local guide will take you to key historical sites, explain local customs, dine with you in traditional restaurants and allow you to experience this amazing culture. Citizens of many countries including Australia, New Zealand, the EU, Canada, the UK and the USA are granted a free visa on arrival.