“Mr. Erbil” is a private social club in Iraqi Kurdistan. The members dress in stylish western fashions, and insist on courteous behavior — in a region ravaged by war and destruction. They’re trying to change Iraqi society.
“Mr. Erbil” is the first “gentlemen’s club” in Iraqi Kurdistan. It now has 40 members — and has become so popular that it’s not accepting new members right now. One of the club’s founders is Ahmed Nauzad, who was born in Erbil. Ahmed’s parents took him to Germany when he was a child. He lived for 14 years in the southwestern city of Ludwigshafen. After Islamic State fighters threatened Erbil, Ahmed returned to the city.The situation there is now more stable, but the economy is still in bad shape.There are few opportunities for young people, and many of them have lost hope. The members of “Mr. Erbil” want to prove that it’s possible to try new and unusual projects — like wearing fashions that combine Western styles and traditional Kurdish elements. But the club members’ high-profile lifestyle is not popular with everyone. A report by Alexandra Bidian, Rabea Rahmig, and Nils Schellwald.
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