The Iraqi police monitored shops selling three kinds of things --
cassettes, photographs, and books.
No one was allowed to sell a photograph or take a photograph that showed the tragedy of the Kurdish people.
For example, a photographer in Sulaimania took a photograph of a poor baby with torn clothes and sold it as a postcard.
The photographer was arrested for selling
that photograph.
I never actually took photographs of the fighting in the mountains, but when the peshmerga took pictures they would send them to me and I would develop them.
You cannot imagine how difficult life was here. We were developing the negatives for the peshmerga in the mountains at the same time that we were being watched.
In 1962, my cousin was imprisoned for ten days for carrying a photograph.
In 1963, when I came to Rania, I gathered the most important photographs of the Kurdish leaders, about seventy of them, and put them in a ceramic pot and hid them outside. But when they built the road there, the photographs disappeared.
I had another group inside the house, but as the Iraqi police were searching house to house, I was afraid that they would come and find the photographs with me, so I burned them.
I no longer have my shop.
After the exodus, I stopped taking photos. I didn't have any money, and there was no work to do. Most of the photographs that are left are portraits taken for official documents, such as passports and family photographs.
 Jabar Abdulkarim Amin
Kurdish photographer living in northern Iraq.