DUHOK (Kurdistan 24) – A tea shop in the Kurdistan Region’s Duhok province has been renovated and decorated with photos as well as the uniforms and weapons of Peshmerga martyrs.
This particular shop stands out from the rest of the stores in the district because its walls have been adorned with the memories of the Kurdish martyrs who lost their lives in the fight against the so-called Islamic State.
Metin Cuma, the owner of “The Martyr’s Teashop,” says the people of the Kurdistan Region owe their freedom and security to Peshmerga, who sacrificed their blood.
“During the intense fight against Da’esh [ISIS], I opened this restaurant. And it was then that I wanted to create a spot where we can honor the Peshmerga’s sacrifice,” Cuma told Kurdistan 24.
“Visitors from other parts of Kurdistan like Erbil and Sulaimani, and even abroad, can come and sit here and witness that the freedom we live in is thanks to these martyrs,” he added.
Cuma said the store has become like a museum where the clothes and uniforms of Peshmerga are on display, as well as their weapons and photos.
“Most of our customers are active Peshmerga and also the family members and children of the Peshmerga martyrs. They know we share their pains and that we remember their loved ones too.”
The Peshmerga fighters and the families of those who lost their lives who visit the shop say they are proud that their martyrs’ photos are hung on the walls.
“I’m the brother, as well as the nephew of Peshmerga martyrs. I thank the owner, kak Metin, for creating such a space where their memories are hung on the walls. We thank him,” Tehsin Gelnaski told Kurdistan 24.
“The struggles of the Peshmerga are evident. Look how far we’ve come thanks to their sacrifices. We have to respect their loss, and we thank kak Metin for creating such a beautiful space,” Gelnaski added.
“Most of us who come here are Peshmerga. When we leave our fronts, we gather here. We are distraught about our comrades, but we are also delighted that they are being remembered. Most of them were our friends, and we spent lots of time together.”
Aside from the photos of the martyrs, the tea shop includes several artifacts from the war against the Islamic State, such as weapons, uniforms, and boots.
The Martyr’s Teashop is located in the center of the Duhok market and has become a popular spot because of its recognition of the Kurdish martyrs.
Civilians say they hope these types of initiatives continue and spread to other parts of the Kurdistan Region, so the sacrifices of the Peshmerga are not forgotten
(Additional reporting by Mesud Mohammad)