Qahar 2Qahar lives in Babire, a small mountain village in Kurdistan framed with orchards of pomegranates and apples and gardens full of pumpkins, courgettes, aubergines, melon and cucumbers. Qahar retired from the Peshmerga to return to village life, spending his days drinking tea with friends, tending his garden and helping his neighbours out with repairs. He recently come out of retirement, however, and will be returning to his unit to help with the fight against Da’esh (ISIS). Qahar’s passion is his partridges, and every visitor has to see them. He opens the door to his shed and asks me to take pictures of the birds in their homemade wooden cages. The shed is immaculate and the partridges plump. We ask what he uses them for. “Hunting.” replies Qahar. He uses them as bait to entice other partridges. But he would never kill his own partridges – they are his pride and joy. As we leave, his wife tells us that he keeps a further two in the house, which he keeps as pets. Hunting is just an excuse for Qahar to keep his beloved birds. DSC_0379