KIRKUK, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) - A Turkmen resident in the province of Kirkuk set a goal to break a world record by collecting over 10,000 cigarette packs, most of which he has smoked.
Kurdistan24 Correspondent Hemin Dalo interviewed Yawus Salah, a citizen of Kirkuk, who has been keeping packets for 28 years.
He mostly kept the empty packets of cigarettes that he already smoked over the past two decades.
"I started to smoke in 1989 when I was in college," Salah said. "It is a hobby for me to collect the packs I smoked. My goal is to break the Guinness World Record."
He mentioned that he has also kept some unopened cigarette packets for years and often opens them to remember their taste.
Salah noted that he does not want to encourage anyone to smoke, claiming his goal is simply to break a world record.
Over the years, he has moved houses several times, stating a proper location to preserve the packs has always been a consideration when choosing a new home.
Kirkuk is an oil-rich province located in the south of the Kurdistan Region and part of northern Iraq.
Although Kurds make up a majority of the population, the province is a diverse area with a rich ethnic and religious background including Turkmen, Arabs, and Christians.
The province is one of the disputed territories between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi federal government. Following the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) in northern Iraq, it has been protected and administered by the KRG.
Editing by G.H. Renaud