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Rudaw

In pictures: Inside the home of Kurdish poet Sherko Bekas

By Sartip Othman 12/1/2018
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – Sherko Bekas was a shining star of Kurdish literature and poetry. Now his belongings, his last pack of cigarettes, are left in his room gathering dust.

Some of the items and his books have begun to decay, the caretaker said.

In some countries, when a writer or artist passes away, their homes are turned into museums or galleries where their personal belongings are showcased. In Kurdistan, this is not a trend.

Bekas’ house is not an official museum, but some people do visit. The caretaker would like to see the poet’s home given more consideration before his belongings are lost. 

Sherko Bekas, born in 1940 in Sulaimani, was the son of the Kurdish poet Fayaq Bekas. He died of cancer in Stockholm in 2013 and is buried in Sulaimani's Azadi Park.


He published his first collection of poetry, Trifay Halbast (Light of Poetry), in 1968.

He was once a Peshmerga and wrote poems for the Kurdish movement.

In 1988, he was awarded Tucholsky Scholarship from the Pen Club in Stockholm and the Freedom Prize of Florence.

His poems have been translated to English, Arabic, Persian, and many more languages.

He became the first Minister of Culture in the first Kurdistan Regional government cabinet in 1992. He also founded Sardam publishing house.

All of his works have been gathered into one anthology of eight thousand pages.

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