Mariwan Namiq Hama, 36, has been raising pigeons as a hobby since he was a small child in Erbil.
Out of many pigeons he breeds in his home, one in particular is of great interest to him. He says his 25-year-old pigeon is purebred, one that is not for sale.
"I love it a lot. Most of my pigeons have descended from this one. It is a very good and beloved pigeon to me," he said, as he kissed the blue and white pigeon.
"To me, pigeons signify love, reconciliation, and peace," he explained.
Hama, known as Mala Mariwan among his friends, is grateful that his neighbours are not concerned about the presence of his birds, some as expensive as $2,000. Some pigeon lovers even regularly visit his house.
Once, he had invited some of his friends over, but later realized that his pigeons had been poisoned.
"Some of my pigeons died overnight. More pigeons died in the evening," Mala Mariwan said as he recalled the incident
He could not capture the culprit since at the time he did not have CCTV camera installed.
"This made me upset because I love them. It was a big sin," he lamented.