The first place my couchsurfing host takes me in Suleymania is a trendy restaurant. It looks unlike anything I’ve seen in the last weeks, very few headscarves lots of selfie sticks, but then again the city has the reputation as the most progressive city in Kurdistan. My host himself is a nice guy but a bit guarded which is both a pity and understandable since, as he tells me, he grew up in Iran since his father was participating in a Tehran supported Maoist insurgency against Saddam.
I spent a few hours the next day in one of Saddam’s old prisons which has now been turned into a museum. Models of man being tortured stand in different rooms while in other rooms bits of graffiti are protected by sheets of glass. While outside old tanks and army cars are rusting away.
Heading to the border I get a ride from three police officers, one of which tells me in broken English how he’s the only one from his family to survive the Halabja massacre. The sight is actually pretty close by and I’ve heard there is a good memorial but it’s time for me to leave Kurdistan though not without telling almost everyone I meet that I’ll definitely be back one day.