Erbil/ Mariwan Faydullah Salihi
The Kurdish Textile Museum, located in Erbil’s Citadel, attracts foreign and local tourists on a daily basis, mentions a museum official.
“An average of 150 people visits our small museum each day, mostly comprising of foreign tourists,” says Sartib Mustafa, the director-assistant of the museum.
One foreign tourist, from Hungary, visits Kurdistan Region for the first time and is astonished by the beauty of Erbil’s archaeological sites and museums such as the Kurdish Textile Museum. “This museum, including all the other ancient sites I’ve visited in Erbil is very beautiful and interesting for European tourists,” tells Gabor Fodor.
He says that many outsiders think that Kurdistan, like the rest of Iraq, is a dangerous place to visit. But during his visit to the region he witnesses a very safe and secure place first-hand. “When I go back to Hungary I will tell everyone, I know, to come and visit Kurdistan. It’s a very safe and secure region, unlike the rest of Iraq,” says Fodor.
Large numbers of local tourists, especially from the other regions in Iraq, also visit the museum. “People told us to come and visit this museum, because of its beautiful folkloric items,” says Jassim Al-Shammari, a tourist from Iraq’s capital, Baghdad.
The Kurdish Textile Museum, opened since 2004, displays mostly carpets from Erbil and other regions in Kurdistan. Besides the carpets, it also showcases traditional Kurdish clothes from Erbil and Kurdish hats, called locally “Kilaw.” Each of these hats represents a tribe or a region in Kurdistan.
The preparation and the collection of the museum, which displays Kurdish heritage and folklore, are privately funded by Lolan Mustafa.
Famous visitors to the museum include Iraq’s First-Lady, Hero Ibrahim, US presidential candidate and senator, John McCain, Kurdistan Region President, Masoud Barzani and many other high-officials and foreign ministers and diplomats.
The Kurdish Textile Museum is open daily, except Fridays, from 9am to 6pm. A gift shop is also located in the basement of the two story museum, inside Erbil’s ancient citadel.