ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Hundreds of people gathered on Friday to attend the Kurdistan Region’s fourth annual winter festival in the border town of Haji Omaran.
The festival included an off-road vehicle competition where over 150 drivers from the Kurdistan Region, Iraq, and Iran participated in several closed courses to see who could complete the track in the quickest time.
Ali Khizri, one of the participants from Iran, said he hopes the off-road competition becomes a regular sport in the region.
“We hope the competition becomes standardized. There are similar competitions in Turkey, Armenia, and Georgia,” he told Kurdistan 24. “We hope the teams here will participate in those as well.”
Other participants highlighted the competitive nature of the competition and applauded the teams involved for putting on a show for the spectators.
“The off-road competition is tough and serious,” Salah Monica, one of the drivers, stated. “The participants are risking their lives in the dangerous conditions for a shot at first place.”
A team from Iran came on top followed by a driver from the Kurdistan Region in second, and an Iraqi one in third place.
Aside from the sporting event, families gathered to enjoy a concert which included Kurdish artists from the Kurdistan Region and Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhilat).
Food stands were also available to serve fresh, hot kebabs and other meals to those who came out to experience the festival.
Kurdistan 24 was the main media sponsor for the annual winter festival.
(Additional reporting by Tayfur Mohammed)