hidden features

learning the hard way by ali arkardy


In the 70s, the Iraqi regime displaced Kurdish people to the Arab areas in the south of the country, which lies 100 kilometres from the province of Sulaymaniyah.

The Kurdish families that were displaced from the area returned back in the 90s, this time under Kurdish federal rule, and started rebuilding the local infrastructure, economy and educational system.

Among the changes in the educational system was the transition of all the school curriculum from Arabic to Kurdish and the use of the Swedish model of education that cannot be correctly implemented due to the large number of students in each classroom.

With 40% of all the students failing to pass their class and a diminishing number of teachers, beating is often used as a form of punishment within the class.


Ali Arkardy 
is a photographer and photojournalist from Khanaqin, Iraq, located in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq near the Iranian border. A gradate of the Fine Arts Institution in Khanaqin, Ali has been working as a photographer since 2006 and currently is focusing on photo stories about Iraqis injured and disabled during war.

Ali’s photographs have been published in international and Iraq media and shown in more than a dozen exhibits in Iraq, Dubai, Georgia, and Germany. 2012 my story about a wounded soldier, the first prize on Iraq, and published in the cnn website  and 2013 worked Subject for gettyimages abut 10 years after the U.S. invasion of Baghdad, His photo essay, “Daily Labor of Sulaimanyah, Iraq” appeared at the 2012 Festival for Georgia and was featured on the CNN International and PhotoAid web sites. In 2011, he was the bronze medial recipient at the Annual Festival in Hamburg, sponsored by the Arab Union of Photographers in Europe.

Ali also is a photography and an assistant media training instructor with Metrography’s Training Centre, located in Sulaimanyah, Iraq. In addition to editorial work, Ali completes corporate and commercial photography and videography assignments for international and national companies and NGOs and relief organizations, such as the United Nations, UNHCR, Mercy Corps, IREX, and International Relief Development (IRD).

He is a member of the Federation of Iraq Photographers; Federation of Germany; and Organization Photographers, Iraq. He lives in Khanaqin with his wife and daughter.