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Sport and Art: Unchanged By War

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Hewar was born in Erbil in 1992, after her family returned from Iran, where they had been living as refugees for seven months during the Anfal campaign. In 2003 the family moved to Kirkuk, where she now lives with four brothers and four sisters. She has been playing football for eight years. She graduated from the college of art in 2013 and her passions are her family, football and acting.

“It is not easy to continue doing all of these things – playing football, attending to my family and also acting – but I cannot stop, I don’t want to. It is my dream, and I want to be different in a city like Kirkuk. The situation here is always heavy, difficult to live in: bombings in the streets, the kidnappings, the violence, and everything has worsened since the beginning of this war with ISIL.

“On the other hand, when I play football, or when I act, I feel alive and that is the most important thing in a city where you only hear about death and war. War is going to stop some day, but life, that should never stop. We should always continue to follow our dreams, even if we might die by doing so. When I play football, or when I am on stage, I don’t feel as if I am living in a war zone. My friends and I don’t want to allow war to shake the colours off our lives, and for this reasons we continue training, day after day. We do it for us, but also for the other people, who might be able to relax and enjoy their time at our games.”

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The Solav women’s football team trains in their gym in Kirkuk.

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The team trains for a game in Kirkuk.

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Hewar Faris (22), goalkeeper for the Solav women’s football team, is pictured wearing the Iraqi-Kurdish football strip in front of her goal during a training session.

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Hewar Faris (left) and Sonya Mahmud stretch off during training in a street in Kirkuk.

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Hewar Faris shops for shoes in the Kirkuk bazar.

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Hewar Faris rehearses at a theatre in Kirkuk.

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Hewar Faris training as an actor on the stage.

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Hewar Faris talks to her grandmother as she prepares breakfast in their Kirkuk home.

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 Hewar Faris cleans the living room of the house she shares with her family in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk.

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Hewar Faris brushes the hair of her sister Kalle at their home in Kirkuk.

All images © Hawre Khalid

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